A discography is a procedure that is performed to confirm or deny the source of back pain. An MRI or CT scan cannot detect the source of pain just the anatomy of the area. A discography is usually performed when the pain is enough for more advanced treatment.
A discogrpahy is performed as follows. The patient will lie on their back or stomach, depending on what area of the spine is being targeted. After numbing the area, a physician will inject a small needle into the center of the troubled disc with the help of a guided x-ray. Then, a small amount of contrast dye will be injected into the disc. If the pain reoccurs during the procedure, then the troubled disc has been found.
Some patients have a CT scan performed after the discography so the physician can better understand the patient’s spinal structure.
The patient should not drive or be overly active on the day of the procedure. During the next 2-3 days, the muscles will be sore. Cold packs rather than heat can help alleviate the soreness. By the third day, the pain will start to fade.
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