Discography is a diagnostic procedure that is used to determine if back pain is caused by one or more spinal discs. During the procedure the patient lies on their stomach or side and is given local anesthetic to numb the skin and tissue in the spine. A neurointerventional surgeon will then use a fluoroscope to view the spinal discs in the area where the patient has been experiencing pain. The surgeon inserts a small needle into the center of the “suspicious” disc, which is the disc the surgeon feels is most likely to be causing pain.
Small needles are also inserted into the disc above and below the suspicious disc. After all needles are placed, the surgeon will apply slight pressure to each disc, one at a time, with a contrast solution. A healthy disc may feel some pressure, but 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 experiencing. If the pain is the same, the damaged disc is found. X-ray images are taken of the damaged disc and then all needles are removed.
To find out more information on Discography, please contact one of our neurointerventional surgeons for a consultation.