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  #1  
Old 03-21-2013, 01:05 AM
Boxer78 Boxer78 is offline
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Default Is discogram worth it??

Hey everyone I'm thinking about getting a discogram because I have herniations at 3 levels and clavel and Bierstedt seem to think only L5S1 is the problem?? I just had an MRI w contrast and showed much more damage than I expected. Any suggestions??
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L5 S 1 herniation burning feet groin pain. Undisgnosed for months finally getting answers.
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  #2  
Old 03-21-2013, 07:59 AM
JeffR JeffR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxer78 View Post
Hey everyone I'm thinking about getting a discogram because I have herniations at 3 levels and clavel and Bierstedt seem to think only L5S1 is the problem?? I just had an MRI w contrast and showed much more damage than I expected. Any suggestions??
It likely wont cause any damage so I think it makes sense to get one,'though i dont really know enough about your symtoms or diagnosis to full heartily endorse it. Its standard practice at TBI though and Dare likes them to, different dr.s give it more weight than others.
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Lifelong history of back issues from a young age, spasms etc.
1995 - Weightlifting injury
1997 - Hip Injury
2009 - Trampoline injury (just bounced down on my butt)
2009-2011 Physiotherapy and medication, progress but no lasting pain relief
2010 - X-Ray DDD L5-S1, L4-L5, L4-L3
2010 - MRI Herniation L5-S1, Bulges L4-L5, L4-L3
2011 - Epidurals - No relief
2012 - Facet Injections - No relief
2012 - Discogram TBI - positive L3-S1

L3-S1 ADR M6-L w Clavel 11/28/2012
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  #3  
Old 03-21-2013, 08:23 AM
firemedix911 firemedix911 is offline
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Is it worth it? Depends. It is subjective. It was in my case(Worth it I meant). Some times it isn't conclusive. The one thing I'm going to tell you is that it is the most painful thing I've had done. When they injected my L4-L5 and then L5-S1 I wanted to die. The good news was that it replicated my pain exactly and the Dr's were able to conclude it was those 2 Discs that were causing my symptoms. After the Dr was done he confessed that as far as he knew that is the single most painful test done in medicine this day. Take into account it has 0 therapeutic effect I can understand why so many people think it is cruel and unnecessary. With all that said I'm glad I had it done as again I'm now convinced those to discs are the issue. My take on it is if you have been in pain for quite a while, if you are willing to travel across the ocean to get surgery, if you are willing to spend a ton of your hard earned cash to get it fix then having a Discogram makes total sense IMHO. You really wanna get it right the first time you have the surgery. Good luck!!
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-On duty injury in 2005 resulted in DDD
- L4-L5 Central-posterior herniation/annular rupture superimposed on circumferential disc bulge 1cm stenosis.
-L5-S1 Broad-based posterior disc herniation/annular rupture superimposed on a circumferential disc bulge with impression on the anterior the cal sac and the lateral recess bilaterally compressing the descending nerve roots. Mild bilateral foraminal stenosis.
-L2-L3 1cm herniation and early DDD signs asymptomatic.
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  #4  
Old 03-21-2013, 10:04 AM
JeffR JeffR is offline
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On another note, definitely get one done through a reputable place if you have a choice, preferably one associated with an ADR Dr. so that they do it for that purpose. I went through TBI via self-pay and even then the insurance company tried to screw me for $17,000 - I won of course since I had the quote in hand.

-Jeff
__________________
Lifelong history of back issues from a young age, spasms etc.
1995 - Weightlifting injury
1997 - Hip Injury
2009 - Trampoline injury (just bounced down on my butt)
2009-2011 Physiotherapy and medication, progress but no lasting pain relief
2010 - X-Ray DDD L5-S1, L4-L5, L4-L3
2010 - MRI Herniation L5-S1, Bulges L4-L5, L4-L3
2011 - Epidurals - No relief
2012 - Facet Injections - No relief
2012 - Discogram TBI - positive L3-S1

L3-S1 ADR M6-L w Clavel 11/28/2012
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  #5  
Old 03-21-2013, 11:51 AM
adrigail adrigail is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 106
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I too had a discogram done. It is quite painful, but if your Dr. uses a sedative ( Versed) they will keep you in an "altered state" right up until they inject a disc. When they push the fluid into a damaged disc, you will definitely know and be able to tell the Dr. if it reproduces your chronic pain. (it will most definitely be a 10 level) When a normal or undamaged disc is selected, you will feel pressure, but typically no or low pain.

Having been through the procedure recently, I have recollection of the really bad pain, but the Versed almost makes it seem like a dream. I know that doesn't make any sense, but I know I was there, I know it hurt, but I remember it as though it happened in a dream.

My procedure was done by my ADR doc. His explanation to me for the necessity of a discogram was this: In a person that presents with ANY DDD, he wants to be certain that there is NO pain generation above or below the affected disc. Of course this is no guarantee that there is no disc damage adjacent, but in my case, it helped me cross off just one more question I had about ADR.

My advice is: go for it. Request that you be given a sedative to make the procedure tolerable. I was so nervous before hand I almost cried in the Pre-op. I haven't cried about anything in 40 years.... the nurses did everything in their power to make me comfortable. To and including a procedure nurse sat in right front of my face while I was lying on the table. She took both my hands and made me look right into her eyes. She talked me through the whole thing while making me maintain eye contact. She was a godsend! The Dr. told me after the procedure that he thinks I invented a couple new curse words!

All in all, it was not much worse than an ESI. I have had about 15 ES injections and when they hit your pain generator, it about sends you through the roof!.

Mike
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Mike
49

2006-2011 Chiro, epidural steroids, nsaids, PT for L4-5 bulge/annular tear
April 25th 2012 35MPH rear end collision, blows out L4-5 and ADDS a tear in C4-5
Cancelled ADR to continue conservative therapies
April 10th 2013: Insurance re-approved and I'm scheduling lumbar ADR for end of the month!
*schedule* ADR Prodisc L April 29th 2013
5-2-2013 ADR using Prodisc L
7-10-2013 New MRI on neck. Surgeon DOES NOT recommend ADR for Cervical.

"I'll be your Huckleberry"
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  #6  
Old 03-21-2013, 01:16 PM
Boxer78 Boxer78 is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 393
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Thanks for replies! I'm very nervous because my symptoms are cauda equina type with urination issues etc and reproducing those could be very dangerous for me.
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L5 S 1 herniation burning feet groin pain. Undisgnosed for months finally getting answers.
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  #7  
Old 03-21-2013, 03:05 PM
annapurna annapurna is offline
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Posts: 1,595
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Back about the time that ADRSupport.org was created, one of the big names in ADR surgery at the time presented a lumbar spine MRI showing one badly dessicated disk with significant height loss. He then asked the audience to point out the disk that was causing the patient's pain. After everyone pointed out the obviously damaged disk, he explained that the discogram showed the level above had torn and was leaking fluid onto the exiting nerve root and was the source of the pain. The obviously damaged disk wasn't contributing to the perceived pain at all. That's the argument for discograms.

On the other hand, cauda equina symptoms are generally an indication for IMMEDIATE SURGERY, do not pass go and don't plan on getting any money. If you only have a single damaged level, L5S1, and it matches your symptoms, I'd question the whole thought process behind interjecting one more step in a process that's clearly taking too long.
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Laura - L5S1 Charitee
C5/6 and 6/7 Prodisc C
Facet problems L4-S1
Knee, Shoulder, Toe, Finger, Elbow Problems

Jim - no spine problem but lots of other fun medical challenges

"There are many Annapurnas in the lives of men" Maurice Herzog
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  #8  
Old 03-21-2013, 03:12 PM
Boxer78 Boxer78 is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 393
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Yea this is the spot I'm stuck in. Gonna see new doc this weekend and see how risky it is to pump pressurized fluid into my disks?? My symptoms of ED urinary frequency extreme burning in the groin and feet all point towards cauda equina but over 20 docs in the new York area don't agree!!! So scary
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L5 S 1 herniation burning feet groin pain. Undisgnosed for months finally getting answers.
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  #9  
Old 03-21-2013, 11:23 PM
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Harrison Harrison is offline
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Default FAQ on Topic

Old news, but lots of angles to read and assimilate:

http://www.adrsupport.org/forums/f49...i-expect-7979/

Some doctors feel that discograms are actually not needed and may even have an immuno-suppression effect. I believe the latter.

If I was my own doctor, with my own practice, I would have had my pain mgt. doc inject a natural antibiotic in my L5-S1 disc. That might have saved my disc and allowed me to avoid surgery.

Just my .02 cents.
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"Harrison" - info (at) adrsupport.org
Fell on my ***winter 2003, Canceled fusion April 6 2004
Reborn June 25th, 2004, L5-S1 ADR Charite in Boston
Founder & moderator of ADRSupport - 2004
Founder Arthroplasty Patient Foundation a 501(c)(3) - 2006
Creator & producer, Why Am I Still Sick? - 2012
Donate www.arthropatient.org/about/donate
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  #10  
Old 03-21-2013, 11:31 PM
Boxer78 Boxer78 is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 393
Default Disco

Thx Harrison good point if ur gonna inject why not something that can help
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L5 S 1 herniation burning feet groin pain. Undisgnosed for months finally getting answers.
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