Spinal Discography is a diagnostic procedure which is used to evaluate patients who haven’t responded to less invasive diagnostic procedures.
A common use for spinal discography is planning for lumbar fusion surgery.
Discography entails injecting X-Ray contrasting dyes into the soft center of one or more vertebrae of the spine. This injection can sometimes reproduce a patient’s back pain. As the dye moves it highlights any cracks in the exterior of the vertebrae disk which then become detectable in an Xray or CT Scan. But this is sometimes inconclusive because disks with normal wear don’t always become painful.
Lumbar discography specifically is considered for patients who, having reached the conclusion of other more conservative, less invasive treatments but have debilitating lower back pain, pain in the groin area, hip, or either leg.
A discogram usually takes about thirty to sixty minutes depending on how many discs are tested, but you’ll probably be at the clinic for about three hours. While you’ll be conscious for the procedure the doctor may provide a sedative to help you relax, you also may be given an antibiotic to prevent possible infection.
The discogram is performed with you lying on your stomach, as is typical for spinal procedures. Your vital signs are monitored with an EKG, blood pressure cuff, and oxygen monitor to monitor the effects of any sedatives that may be used. The skin over the injection area or areas is sanitized with an antiseptic and then the injections are made. An X-Ray or CT scan will follow, then you’ll be off to the recovery room. You’ll be able to go home after an hour or so, but someone else will need to drive you.
Expect to take a few days off of work after the procedure and take it easy.
It’s normal to have some pain at the injection site(s) or in the lower back for up to several hours after the procedure. Applying an ice pack to the area(s) for 20 minutes at a time might help. However, You’ll need to keep your back dry for 24 hours.
If you develop severe back pain or a fever one to two weeks after the procedure, call your doctor right away.
Find your nearest Summa Pain Care location in Peoria, Phoenix or North Scottsdale today and don’t put this off any longer. Unaddressed back generally doesn’t improve. Call our Phoenix location at 623.580.4357 , you can reach Peoria at 623.776.8686 or contact us in North Scottsdale at 480.786.1771.