A discography is a diagnostic procedure that allows a physician to locate a patient's source of pain. For the procedure, a contrast dye is injected into the center of a spinal disc to determine where the pain is coming from. At American Spine, our physicians follow precautionary procedures for every surgery to reduce the risk of infection and complications.
For a discography, a local anesthetic, such as Lidocaine or Marcain, is used to numb the surgical area. Your doctor will ask you to report on your sensations throughout the injection to determine if it has targeted the right area. The goal is to determine if the injection reproduces your normal pain.
A discography is ordered to see if a patient's pain stems from a disc and to identify other abnormalities of the disc. A doctor might find the presence of a disc herniation, fissure, or tear in the disc. These problems could indicate the source of pain or other symptoms associated with the root problem.
If you or someone you know continues to have pain after treatment, talk to an American Spine physician about your candidacy for a discography. If you have persistent pain after medication therapy, physical therapy, or epidural steroid injection, a discography could be advantageous for you.