Discography is a diagnostic procedure to determine if your back pain is caused by one or more discs. This procedure helps your specialist plan your course of treatment.
What can I expect during the procedure?
During the discography procedure, you remain awake to provide your doctor feedback. Fluorescent x-ray dye is injected in the disc with gentle pressure. You’ll either feel less pain or continued pain. Based on your response to each injection, your doctor can determine which disc is responsible for your pain symptoms.
How long is the recovery time?
This outpatient procedure takes about up to an hour, depending on how many levels are injected. It’s recommended you take 2-3 days off work after the injections. Depending on your pain tolerance and your type of work, you may return to work the next day.
Will I still feel my back pain after the procedure?
Discography is a diagnostic procedure used to identify the source of pain. It does not treat or relieve pain.
What are the risks and side effects of discography?
The most common side effect is temporary pain at the injection site. Very rare risks include: infection, bleeding, nerve damage, and accidental puncture of the spinal fluid sack, which may cause headaches and can be treated.
Who should not have this injection
You should not have this procedure if you are:
- Allergic to any of the medications to be injected
- On a blood thinning medication (e.g. coumadin, injectable heparin)
- Currently battling an active infection
- On anti platelet drugs (ask your doctor if you can temporarily discontinue use before the procedure)