Back Pain Investigations (Discography)

What is a Discography procedure?

A Discogram or discography is an investigation to help your doctor decide which of the shock absorbing discs of your spine is potentially causing your back pain enabling them to use local aesthetic to combat the pain.

Discography involves the insertion of a needle into the disc using x-ray control. The area is numbed before the surgeon inserts the needle, if you are having a sedative for this procedure this will be done before any surgery begins.

The disc is injected with contrast so that the disc can be tested to see if it is the area causing the pain. If the pain reproduces at any particular disc, then this suggests that it is that particular disc causing the pain. Local anaesthetic can be injected to test whether the pain reduces thus offering further evidence of that particular disc being the pain source.

Possible Side Effects and Aftercare

Following the treatment, you will be taken to the recovery department. This is where you are monitored for the initial post-operative period.

You will then be transferred to the discharge lounge or to an orthopaedic ward (if you are staying overnight for medical reasons).

A nurse will make sure that you are safe to move around and that you have passed urine before going home. If you have any concerns about your walking or controlling your bladder/bowel, you must tell a member of staff.

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