Discography, or a discogram, is a diagnostic test that helps Dr. Jean Santo at Advanced PainCare discover or rule out one or more spinal discs as the source of your pain. Dr. Santo performs the test on an outpatient basis. She administers intravenous medication as a relaxant and pain reliever. Then she applies local anesthetic to the treatment site.
Under fluoroscopy, a saline solution and contrast dye are injected into the disc or discs being examined. Fluoroscopy is an imaging technique that projects an X-ray picture onto a monitor. It helps Dr. Santo guide the needle precisely into the treatment area. Contrast dye will reveal anular tears, bulges, scarring and any other changes within the nucleus. Monitoring pressures in the disc also helps Dr. Santo evaluate disc health. The procedure takes about 30 to 60 minutes. Patients can most often resume normal activities the day after discography.
When a patient’s symptoms are severe and persist despite conservative treatments, the results of other diagnostic tests (e.g. MRI, CT) prove inconclusive or a disc abnormality is suspected, the patient should have a discogram. Keep in mind that discograms are provocative tests. They attempt to reproduce rather than remove pain.
When a patient has a suspected disc problem, discography at Advanced PainCare can help us pinpoint the problem and find a solution.