Search the Health Library
Get the facts on diseases, conditions, tests and procedures.
I Want To...
Find a Doctor
I Want To...
Find Research Faculty
Enter the last name, specialty or keyword for your search below.
Reasons to perform the procedure:
A discogram is a diagnostic procedure to determine if your vertebral disc(s) is/are your source of back pain.
Before the procedure:
You will be informed where and when to report for the procedure. You may be asked not to eat or drink after midnight the night before. You will be examined by your doctor and asked to rate your pain.
Description of the procedure:
A doctor will speak with you and a consent will be obtained. First an IV is started, an antibiotics will be infused to minimize the risk of disc infection, and you may also be given medicine for relaxation if you so desire. Next, while lying on an x-ray table your skin will be cleaned and prepared. Then a needle will be inserted into each disc. To ensure proper placement of the dye, the procedure is performed under fluoroscopy of x-ray. If the disc is the source of your back, spine, extremity and/or leg pain the injection will temporarily reproduce your symptoms, thus resulting a positive discogram. If the disc is not the source of your pain the injection will not reproduce your symptoms or cause any discomfort, thus resulting a negative discogram.
After the Procedure:
Following the procedure, you may experience some additional discomfort. You will then return to your original state within one week. The discomfort may be treated with your regular pain medication.
Potential Complications: (rare)
• Temporary numbness or weakness
• Spinal headache
• Nerve damage
• Hoarseness of voice
You will receive further instructions from your doctor. Depending on the result of the discogram, you may be candidate for surgery, IDET or medical management.