The Use of Discography for Treating Back Pain

Back Pain Treatments Nov 13, 2015

The Use of Discography for Treating Back Pain | Comprehensive Pain Management Center

Discography, also referred to as a discogram, is a procedure used by medical professionals in order to help diagnose back issues. In a typical case, a surgeon will recommend using discography for treating back pain in order to identify a particular disc that is creating pain and what subsequent treatment steps should be undergone.

Who Benefits From It?

Due to the fact that the procedure is considered invasive (it involves a medical professional inserting needles into a disc), it is generally done after other back pain treatments – physical therapy, medication, injection therapy, and more – have failed to alleviate the condition. Patients have typically been experiencing back pain for at least four to six months.

How Does It Work?

When using discography for treating back pain, an x-ray dye is injected into spinal discs and the patient is asked whether pain is occurring. An x-ray image is created that may show the presence of tears or fissures in the disc lining. It is important to note that this measure is less concerned with the disc’s anatomy and more interested in its physiology, or whether it is painful. This is because sometimes abnormalities in discs do not lead to pain, therefore simply the presence of a deviation is not on the face of it something to be concerned about.

What Will Be the Outcome?

A doctor will take the results of your discography and combine the information generated with the returns of other assessments and physical examinations in order to make a determination about whether the disc is the root of your symptoms. Data may be taken as a deciding factor in whether or not surgery will be a good option moving forward and if so, what kind of surgery and which discs. A potential operation undergone after this type of test is a spinal fusion, where the disc levels are joined together to get rid of an internally disrupted, pain-inducing disc.

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