Discography is a provocative diagnostic procedure which used to determine if back pain is caused by one or more disks. The procedure involves suspicious disk, one disk above, one below and one healthy disk with an injection of sterile liquid to induce pain or pressure in those disks.

During the procedure the patient lies on stomach or side on a table equipped by fluoroscope and takes intravenous anesthetic for relaxation. It is very important for the patient to be awake enough to inform the physician about all sensations and feelings.

Local anesthetic is used to numb the skin and tissue down to the disk area. A physician uses fluoroscope to find the right spot and places a guide needle to the edge of the disc. Then small needle is inserted through the guide needle to the center of the disc. After all needles are placed the discs are pressured one at a time with a contrast solution. The healthy disc may feel pressure, the damaged disc feels pain. If pain appears it is very important for the patient to compare the pain with the pain he/she has been feeling. If the pain is the same, damaged disc is found. After X-ray pictures are taken, needles are removed. In additional CT-scan could be applied.


Common side effects could be compared with common injection side effects, i.e. allergic reaction, bacterial infection, bleeding in seldom cases. During discography no steroid medications are used.

The patient must inform the physician about pregnancy or if he/she takes blood thinning medication.

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