Discogram

What is it?

A Diagnostic test performed to view and assess the internal structure of a disc and determine if it is a source of pain.

How is it done?

An I.V. will be started in your hand or arm and local anesthetic will be injected into the patient’s skin in the area that is being examined. A needle is inserted into the disc under fluoroscopy (x-ray). A saline solution and radiopaque dye are injected into the disc or discs if more than one disc is being examined. A CT scan may be performed on the painful disc after the dye is injected to obtain images of the dye distribution. This will demonstrate annular tears, scarring, disc bulges and changes in the nucleus of the disc.

Expected results:

Re-creation of painful symptoms if the disc(s) is abnormal. Confirmation of a diagnosis and/or determination of which disc(s) is the source of pain.

How long does it take?

The test takes about 30 minutes, plus approximately 30 minutes recovery time. If a CT is requested, it will also take about 30 minutes to complete.

Risks involved:

Risks include increased pain, headache, bleeding, infection, a reaction to any medications used, nerve damage, paraplegia/quadriplegia, discitis (infection of the disc) or death.

 

  • YOU WILL NEED SOMEONE TO DRIVE YOU TO AND FROM THE SURGICAL CENTER
  • NO FOOD OR DRINK FOR 6-HOURS PRIOR TO THE SCHEDULED TIME OF YOUR INJECTION
  • HOLD ASPIRIN FOR 7 DAYS AND HOLD NSAID’S (Naproxen, Ibuprofen) FOR 3 DAYS PRIOR TO INJECTION.
  • FOR BLOOD THINNERS (Coumadin, Heparin, Plavix) SPEAK TO YOUR DOCTOR FOR SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS.

Patient Instructions:

  • No driving for the rest of the day.
  • Apply ice to the area every 15 minutes as needed.
  • Continue exercises and stretches as before and as tolerated by pain.
  • Drink extra fluids for the next 24 hours.
  • Take pain medication if needed as prescribed.
  • Monitor your level of pain or pain relief from the time the injection is completed.
  • Guard the affected area if numbness is present.
  • Follow up as directed
  • IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS, PLEASE CALL 303-423-8334

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