A discogram, or discography, is a test used to evaluate back pain. A discogram might help your doctor determine if an abnormal disk in your spine is causing your back pain.
Spinal disks are sponge-like cushions between the bones (vertebrae) of the spine. During a discogram, dye is injected into the soft center of one or more disks. The injection sometimes reproduces your back pain.
A discogram is an invasive test that generally isn’t used for an initial evaluation of back pain. Your doctor might suggest a discogram if your back pain persists despite conservative treatments, such as medication and physical therapy.CONTACT US TODAY
A discogram is performed in a clinic or hospital room that has imaging equipment. You’ll likely be there for up to three hours, although the test itself takes 30 to 60 minutes, depending on how many disks are tested.
Typically, if a disk is causing your back pain, you will feel pain during the injection that’s similar to the back pain you have daily. If a disk is normal, there’s little pain during the injection. During the discogram, you’ll be asked to rate your pain.
You remain in the procedure room for approximately 30 to 60 minutes for observation.
It’s normal to have some pain at the injection site or in the low back for several hours after the procedure. Applying an ice pack to the area for 20 minutes at a time might help. You’ll need to keep your back dry for 24 hours.
A discogram is generally safe. But as with any medical procedure, a discogram carries a risk of complications, including: