WHAT IS DISCOGRAPHY?
Discography is a minimally invasive diagnostic imaging test used to determine the exact location of back pain.
REASON FOR THE PROCEDURE
This procedure may be requested by your doctor to determine the origin of your back pain and to establish a treatment plan to relieve your pain.
Intervertebral discs are cushions located between the vertebra providing support and allowing for flexibility. Occasionally, a disk may weaken or tear, causing a bulge or rupture. The damaged disk may then apply pressure directly to a spinal nerve causing pain. A Discography is a procedure where live X-ray guidance (Fluoroscopy) is used to pilot a needle to the center of a disk. Once there, contrast material is injected. The pressure of the injection will cause discomfort allowing for the identification of the exact disk causing pain. Immediately following the injections, a CT Scan (a procedure using multiple low-dose X-rays) will provide a digital image of the area to determine the extent of damage and help determine treatment options. Discography usually takes 30 – 45 minutes.
POTENTIAL SIDE EFFECTS, RISKS, AND COMPLICATIONS
Discography is generally a safe procedure. Risks may include temporary worsening of the back pain, headache, nausea, infection of the injected disk, injury to blood vessels or nerves in and around the spine, temporary numbness and potential nerve damage.