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Old 12-02-2003, 07:09 PM   #1
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Libra138 HB User
Do I have to have a discogram?? *scared*

I have had microdiskectomy l5-S1 in 1998/ I am 28 years old and having severe pain again, MRI shows that disk is wiped out and my vert's are rubbin basically, he wants to discogram L4 and frankly im scared to death of this procedure, he says that he needs to do fusion surgery on my L5-S1 and not sure about L4, why cant he just see when he gets in there what he wants to do with it?

anyone has any discogram stories PLEASE tell me what to do???


Thanks



 
Old 12-02-2003, 08:13 PM   #2
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carol632 HB User
Unhappy Re: Do I have to have a discogram?? *scared*

Okay, I'm going to tell you the truth here....a discogram is definitely not the easiest test to go through...in fact, it can be quite painful if done by the wrong person. So, your first question should be who will be doing it? Then find out what technique they use. Some docs do not give any sedatives, some use versed, and so on. It is usually a test that is done prior to expected surgery and is needed to define exactly what disc is bad. You said he was going to test one particular disc; they will also need a "control" disc. You have to be awake enough to let them know if the pain produced is the pain you are experiencing with your disc daily. I hope this helps you...I know it is scarey, but docs don't order this lightly and so it is needed to help him. Good luck.
Carol
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Old 12-02-2003, 08:20 PM   #3
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SusanPLIF HB User
Re: Do I have to have a discogram?? *scared*

[QUOTE=Libra138]I have had microdiskectomy l5-S1 in 1998/ I am 28 years old and having severe pain again, MRI shows that disk is wiped out and my vert's are rubbin basically, he wants to discogram L4 and frankly im scared to death of this procedure, he says that he needs to do fusion surgery on my L5-S1 and not sure about L4, why cant he just see when he gets in there what he wants to do with it?

anyone has any discogram stories PLEASE tell me what to do???


Thanks


[/QUOTE]

Hi Libra138,
I had a 4-level discogram done July 2002. Yes, it was painful - but I was so doped-up on versed that I really don't remember the pain. The benefits of the diagnostic procedure far outweighed my fears about it.
A discogram will tell your doc if your disc has a tear in it. I assume you know what the exam entails.. but if the disc holds pressure when he injects fluid to the disc - then the disc is good. If it doesn't hold pressure, and your usual pain is exacerbated, then the disc is impaired/torn/otherwise comprimised.
If the disc is good - I'm GUESSING he would not want to mess with that level during your fusion on L5-S1.

Don't be afraid of the procedure. The pain youre already having is worth doing the exam to make sure he doesn't need to do a two-level fusion. Know what I mean? He will give you enough sedative so that you can talk to him (report pain level), but I PROMISE... its not a pain you can't handle. And you'll get some nice meds afterwards. Honestly - it just wasn't all that terrible...not like you might've heard. I'm sure they're just wanting to prepare you that it's not like getting a filling - ya know?

Keep the faith... everything will be A-OK.
Susan

8/1/03 PLIF on L4-5 - doing great!

 
Old 12-03-2003, 05:32 AM   #4
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Libra138 HB User
Re: Do I have to have a discogram?? *scared*

ok, thanks for the replys, I will ask questions about sedatives and medications because i am a wimp as it is haha...
what i dont understand is, why cant they just look at L4 when they repair L5 and make the determination?

 
Old 12-03-2003, 03:59 PM   #5
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SusanPLIF HB User
Re: Do I have to have a discogram?? *scared*

[QUOTE=Libra138]ok, thanks for the replys, I will ask questions about sedatives and medications because i am a wimp as it is haha...
what i dont understand is, why cant they just look at L4 when they repair L5 and make the determination?[/QUOTE]


I think the main reason why is that you need to be conscious when they check out that disc. Most of the discogram is the patient feedback of pain/no pain. If youre under a general anesthesia (like you would be in a fusion surgery), they'll have absolutely no way to really test the disc for sure.

Hope this helps..

 
Old 12-04-2003, 12:35 PM   #6
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jchernyb HB User
Re: Do I have to have a discogram?? *scared*

Libra, I am having the same apprehension also because I have to have a discogram done right before having my endoscopic disectomy. I asked my neurosurgeon "why" and could he please not do it. He said no, he had to do it to make sure where the pain in my legs was coming from. The MRI report itself was not going to be conclusive. I am just horrifed of this. If it was up to me, just give me the drugs so I dont know a thing about anything and do what you have to do!!! I was suppose to have surgery next Friday, Dec 12th, but I have postponed it a couple of months---not because I am feeling better----but because I think, I just have to get up enough nerve to have it done. Someone said, "well, you arent hurting bad enough then if you are postponing it". I am hurting tremendously down my legs and in my groin area, but I am going to have it done in February and just go for it! Good Luck!

 
Old 12-04-2003, 01:11 PM   #7
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Elaine HB User
Re: Do I have to have a discogram?? *scared*

Libra,
Some discs can be bad but yet, not be a pain generator. Your L4 may be herniated but producing no pain. If it is not causing pain, there is no sense fixing it. When I had my discogram, L4 had a tear, it was my pain generator. L3 was herniated with a small fissure but produced no symptoms. Therefore he did nothing with L3. My second surgery was a year ago, I had L5 fused three years ago. With this type of surgery, you can expect the domino effect. Usually the one above or below will go out next. In my case, I had L5 fused, then L4. The L3, that didn't produce pain has now blown out. I am sick and disgusted. I sometimes think they leave bad discs, knowing that they are going to go just so they can make money on another surgery. That may or may not be so but then again, a person would have whole back fused if they fused them all, "thinking" that they were going to herniate sooner or later. One never really knows what to do and whatever you do, it is a chance you take. It may be better, it may be worse. You have to decide if you hurt bad enough, that you are willing to take this chance. "Most" people go into this surgery, thinking they are going to be painfree. It doesn't usually work that way, some are lucky, especially if they only have one place that is bad. Mutiple disc problems tend to get worse. I traded one type of pain for another but my back is a wreck so don't listen to me.
Guess I got away from the original question. Sorry!
Take care,
Elaine

 
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