I have a Discogram scheduled October 21 (thursday) for two buldging disks. the diagnosis is degenerative disk disease. my lower back, right hip and leg hurt. anyone know what to expect from the Discogram. doc tells me it will probably be painful. thanks
Jay, I've been told a discogram is very painful because the doctor will be fishing around your disc looking for the painful spot. The doctor will rely on your reaction to know where your "hot" spot is. I'd make sure this is the only way the doctor can determine what he is looking for before I'd do it. I've had three mylograms and they are just as difficult. Good luck my friend and know that this too shall pass.
You need to explore all of your options before doing a discogram. They stick needles in both your healthy and unheathy discs, looking to recreate your pain. Have you had every other test yet? I would put that one off, well, forever. Can't they figure it out with an MRI, EMG, X-Rays? If they know that you have two bulging discs, what else are they hoping to find?
I had to have a discogram before my surgery so they would be sure they were going after the true cause of my pain. So four days before my scheduled surgery, October 7, I got a discogram.
Nothing you read or are told can prepare you for it. You have to go foward and decide to do it for yourself, and if you have a good doctor performing the test on you, they will inform you of everything you need to know.
When I did mine, they tested the l3-l4 l4-l4 and l5-s1. The doctor was 99% all of my pain was l5-s1, but wanted this test to prove it. I read several places that talk about the usefullness of this test, then drew my own conclusion. I believe if you can not handle the 15or so minutes of a discogram, you most likely can not handle the back surgery itself. The recovery, as many people here will tell you, is no cake walk in itself.
About the test. It hurts. You feel a lot of pressure as they place the needles. They use a lot of local anestesia to help. Once the needles are in place they tell you they are going to recreate the pain. The most important part is to be honest and let them know what you feel, and if it is normal pain or not.
When they did my l5-s1, the pain came over me slowly and then i felt the hurt where i am use to, told him, and the test was done.
My wife drove me home after the cat scanafterwards, and my back hurt for a while, like the next 8 hours, but nothing i was not used to.
The pain of the needles was different, it felt like there was pressure all the way to my spine, but it was bearable.
The pain of the discogram was gone before i knew it, and i wasdone quickly.
Doing the discogram prepared me for the surgery i had on the 11th, and made me feel confidant that i could handle anything to come.
I look back and laugh about how i was so concerned about it and worried. If you have to do it, don't worry about it, it is tough but it is quick.
And honestly, if you can't handle the discogram, you may not want to go through with surgery,because as others will tell you and i am finding out, recovery is a long road.
But i would do it all over again, because my back and leg feel better then they have in 4 years.
I too am going to have a discogram. I have already had surgery (microdisc) and handled it very well. I know it will hurt, but so did my EMG and I did well on that one. Even the dr said I handled the pain better than most of the military men he has done that test on before. So, I know I can do it. Lucky for me, there is only one disc that is healthy above the two that are degenerating, so if I am right from reading above, only those three discs should be stuck. Now, I have to wait for the call to schedule. Good luck Jay.
i've read around and i think fusion is given a bad rap. While advances are being made in artificial disks, fusion is a good way to fix things in certain cases. You may want to ask what other options are available. I did a lot of research and my doctor probably thought i was a pain in the ***, but i wanted to be sure going in i was getting the best choice.
My fusion, though only last week, has helped me immensly, and like i said, i would do it all over again. maybe a year from now, i might think different, but right now i am laying here, in pain, confident that my choice and the doctors actions were the best to solve my l5-s1 problems. Just remember everybody is d9ifferent, and you need to find what best you can do or what can be done for you, use the internet to read everything you can and don't get depressed because some of the info out there sucks, and only talks about the negative. Ask questions, and make sure that you are comfortable with everything. After the discogram, i was, and it has meant everything to me.
Whatever choice you make, good luck, and i'll be here the next 6-12 weeks as i recover to share in good days and bad days.
It is not the pain that I had been concerned with, I made it through a series of Proltherapy, so pain is not what bothers me. I had read up on discgrams before considering one and read that they stick needles in healthy discs, opening up and area that didn't need to be opened up and they we have come a long ways in technology and that this test is no longer necessary. They can use a thermogram on your back, non-invasive, and detect areas of pain. That seems like the route for me.