Relieving Pain. Restoring Hope.


About the treatment

Discography, or discogram, is a diagnostic procedure typically ordered by spinal surgeons to determine the specific location of a patient’s pain in the lower back, groin, and hip. This procedure is typically used to indicate if minimally invasive or more invasive procedures are required to treat a patient’s pain. This procedure is especially helpful for patients who have not responded to extensive, conservative pain care regimens for their severe pain.

For this procedure, patients are placed on an operating table in our procedure suite with fluoroscopic (x-ray) imaging. The physician will then mark areas of the patient’s back correlating with recommended levels to ensure accurate needle placement throughout the procedure, and utilize the attached x-ray machine. The procedure area is then sterilized, and the physician will administer local anesthesia into tissue surrounding the damaged discs in hopes to minimize patient discomfort.

Small needles are then placed into the center of the affected spinal discs before the physician applies pressure to each disc. After the discs have been pressurized, the physician requires feedback from the patient regarding their pain levels and general discomfort. During this time, fluoroscopic pictures will be taken off the spinal discs. The needles are then removed and the patient is taken to the recovery area.

After the treatment

The procedure typically takes less than an hour to complete. Patients are observed in our recovery area and discharged home with care instructions. Common side effects include swelling and mild soreness from the needle punctures and should subside within a few days. Your physician may recommend over-the-counter medications including acetaminophen or NSAIDs to reduce pain and soreness after the procedure. After the procedure, a physician may recommend follow-up treatments based on results.


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