Discogram

A Discogram is a procedure done under x-ray guidance to find the cause of neck or lower back pain. Discs are located between vertebrae in the spine.  A Discogram is used in diagnosis and ongoing management of patients with back pain. It can be used for locating the source of the pain to assist in the planning of treatment.

The Procedure

  • A member of staff will explain the procedure and answer any questions that you may have.
  • You will be taken to a change room where you will need to remove some clothing and jewellery and wear an x-ray gown.
  • You will lie on the x-ray bed and the area that is to be examined will be cleaned with antiseptic. Local anaesthetic is injected under the skin to make the area numb.
  • A needle will be placed through your skin into the disc that is being investigated. Some x-ray contrast is injected into the disc, this creates some pressure in the disc, if the disc is abnormal then it may cause some mild pain that helps the doctor locate the source of pain. Usually more than one disc will be investigated at one time.
  • After the procedure an antibiotic will be injected into the disc to minimise complications associated with infection.
  • A CT scan of the area is sometimes performed after the examination to gain some further information.
  • The test can take between one to one and a half hours.

 

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