I am due for a discogram tomorrow and am wondering what to expect I am extremelly nervous? I have had a fusion earlier last year which didn't heal and they think the disc about that level has gone bad and contributing to my pain.
Is it tru that you have to lay flat for 24 hours???
Any help would be great!!
Hi there! I had a discogram before my fusion. They basically told me they were going to recreate my pain, only for a moment, to confirm the problem of a specific disc. Everyone warned me that it would be really painful and I was also nervous. But I was in a lot of pain all the time anyway, and I have to say, it wasn't really that bad at all. The pain they recreated only lasted long enough for me to say "that's my pain!!".
The discomfort really began after the procedure. For a day or two I was very sore and very uncomfortable. I found the pain afterwards to be much more unsettling than the pain of the procedure. But after a day or two that also went away. Just plan to take it easy for a couple of days following your procedure. Get some good books ahead of time from the library and have your pain meds close by
You'll do fine. I think it was very helpful in diagnosing my problem.
Ok, no bones about it, Discograms hurt. BUT they do give you pain medication as soon as they've recreated your pain.
When you first walk in they will give you pain medication. You strip and get into some fancy hospital garb. You know, the kind with your butt hanging out... hehe. You wait a bit until the pill takes effect. Then you go lay face down on a table under an xray machine. It's usually cold in the room. The doctor will then take a needle and give you a novicaine injection so you don't feel the other needle. They take the other needle and poke it in the disc, using the xray to guide them, and when they get it right and centered correctly, they pump dye into your disc to do two things. 1) create pressure and 2) see if you have any tears, and will see it by the dye leaking out. Once they find the offending disc you will go through the roof and be in a full sweat. They will immediately medicate you so the pain doesn't last very long. Then they may go to another disc and do it all over again.
Once they are done, they will medicate you nicely for your ride home, roll you off the table, give you another pill and wait for that to take effect, then you are allowed to get dressed and go home as long as you have assistance (a driver).
Immediately and for the next two days USE ICE. Day and night. Prepare now and get to the pharmacy and buy those ice pack things. You will need to ice that area for 48 hours constantly at least. My doctor even allowed me to double my dose of Oxy for two days. It hurts afterwards when all that nice medication they gave you at the hospital wears off. It hurts Bigtime.
But then after two days you're ok. You have just lived through a discogram and hopefully, will never have to go through one again.
Last edited by Stormygale; 08-23-2004 at 12:33 PM.
I cant tell you how much I appreciate all of your help. I rely on these boards more than the docs because the doctor says one thing but has never been through most of the procedures.
I have it tomorrow morning and will let you know the outcome hopefully it will be negative for the higher disk.
I had to come back to just say I didn't have anything like Stormygale did. They didn't give me ANY meds prior to the procedule, other than a little Versed to relax me, which I noticed nothing from. My dr explained to me that to give pain meds prior to the procedure could possibly numb some of the pain they want you to feel so you can tell them where and what hurts. I've never heard of anyone getting pain meds like that. Maybe my dr just does it differently. All I got was some Vicodin after the procedure, but I was on Vicodin before that so that was no big deal. I didn't get any medication for the ride home or anything out of the ordinary.
The ice does really help. It helps with the irritation/inflammation that the needles may have caused. But really you'll do fine. I have a very high tolerance for pain so maybe to me it wasn't that bad. I hope it isn't for you either.
In concurrence with just about everyone, my discogram HURT. But, like everyone else, I was already in pain anyway.
I forewarned my employer that it was definite 1 day off, but possibly 2. I took the 2 days off.
I think the 2 days after were more difficult than the procedure.
My dr. gave me an epidural towards the end of the procedure to help with the pain. Didn't help until I got back to work, but at least it kicked in by then. I also took 1/2 a painkiller to help w/a sip of water, to help with the pain without interfering with the recreation process.
My doctor medicated me so that when he created the pain and I flipped about off the table even over the med he gave me, then he knew he had the right disc. I think it would be just cruel to do it otherwise. Ugh. I feel for you, Elaine. I do have a very progressive Surgeon though, and he is very up to date on the best and the latest. I'm sorry you had to suffer so much. Mine really wasn't that bad. It was the days afterwards that really stunk.
Glad to hear you got through it alright. I hope it's not 3 to 5 days!! My extra discomfort only lasted from the day after the procedure then the next day also. Once the third day came I was fine. I sure hope you don't have this pain for too long. Most people don't, not from what I've heard.