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Old 12-05-2006, 08:53 AM
Harrison's Avatar
Harrison Harrison is offline
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 6,909

The Procedure

A discogram is a study in which radiographic dye is injected into the disk space. It images the anatomy of the disk space and shows when dye leaks through the annulus fibrosis. When the physician injects dye into the disk space, the patient reports (pain scale, 1 –10) how much pain has been produced. If the pressure injection of dye into the disk space reproduces the patient’s usual low back pain (called concordant), then the pain is thought to be “discogenic.” This possible result, in conjunction with the doctors other findings, usually validates the surgeon’s opinion regarding the most appropriate surgical correction. These remedies could include: artificial disc replacement, fusion, discectomy, etc.

Reality Check

Everyone dreads the idea of a future discogram appointment. But for many, the fear is worse than the appointment. Here’s a few things to keep in mind:

- It is a diagnostic procedure, often yielding useful information, such as as the previously mentioned “concordant” pain. This means that the pain corresponds to your actual pain locations (directly, as noted by your complaints) or by your pain dermatomes (affected areas). Also, some clinics will save the radiographic image of the dye-injected discs for the surgeon (although many do not). Either way, the doctor (often a pain mgt doc) will record notes of the procedure, later given to your spine surgeon.

- Most clinics will give you some kind of medication to help you relax before the procedure (dilotid is a good one!). Some will inject lidocaine during the procedure, which has a numbing and pain-relieving effect which can last for days.

- It’s not going to kill you (unless you have a really, really bad doctor!). What may help you is to read the experiences of others who have had the same “pleasure” as you! Read through some of these past discussions; but note that all patients' experiences are not "comfortable!"

Good overviews with more information:
"Harrison" - info (at)
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
Old 02-03-2010, 08:30 PM
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KerryT KerryT is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2009
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Default Discograms sound scary but there not please read

As Harrison has explained what you should expect. After I read some of the comments on this site I wasn't sure if I really wanted to go through with it. I decided to go for it or I would have to put up with the astonishing pain my two disc's were causing me.

When I was in the operating theatre I was shaking I was so scared, They gave me some sedation to calm me down and Mr K Lam started the process. All I have to say is that you will only ever experience the pain you have had before in the past, it won't be worse put it that way. Infact I was having a laugh and a joke with everyone in the room whilst it was happening (No it wasn't laughing gas they gave me, it's just something that calms me down)

So please, if you have read through some other posts that have made it out to being the worse thing ever, let me tell you it's not.

I'm so happy I did they found out two disc's had a tear in them and one was degenerative, I knew about the degenerative disc but had no idea abot the tears, so if I had, had just one disc out instead of the two I would still be in astonishing pain right now.

Kind regards,
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