Well you will get many different answers on this question....most say it is pretty painful and few will say its not bad....Im one of the not bad lucky ones....The IV was the worst part of it for me.....they say NO meds before hand and will generally sedate you....they are seeking the pain you are complaining about and what disc may be the culpriate....just as quick as any pain happens it stops......I had some pain a day or two afterwards and it was not hard to deal with....Im an odd ball though! lol I dont want to sound like its being sugar coated but this was what my take is on it....many say it was bad for them and hurt for a week or even two afterwards....Just know this! most of the people that have had them will have the test done again if needed because of the ANSWERS you get from the results.....its pricless.
Hope this helps you some.....I way over worried the test!
I am having this test done on Dec 2nd. I was told I will be sedated, but not enough to be completely out of it because I have to let them know if it hurts. I was also told I will be given pain meds for any discomfort I experience.
Yes they will give you pain meds afterwards (not before) .......the sedation will be your best friend on this test......its just a bee sting and will pass quickly.....afterwards is when I think most people feel the pain.....the sedation will have you so relaxed that you wont really care.
I just had this yesterday. I took my normal pain meds at 5 in the morning and at 2:00 the procedure was done. I had nothing in between. I normally at a minimum take medication at 1:00. My pain was a 4 and they gave me a small dose of versed. Then moved on with the procedure. I don't want to scare you but it was pretty painful. I had a control level done L2 plus L2/3, L3/4, L4/5, and they were unable to do L5/S1 or s1/s2 due to birth defects.
Since this is very fresh in my mind, I will give you my spin on this. Please keep in mind this is my experience and it does not mean you will experience the same thing. They tested the control level, I had pain down the leg. They added numbing stuff to the disc. Then they did L 3/4 and my pain jumped to a 9, they added numbing stuff to the disc, then the pain came down to a 5, then they injected the dye into L4/L5 and I screamed, said a few words and then cried, my pain went to a 10, my blood pressure shot up, the doc yelled more lidocane, more lidocane. Then he said, I am done and asked me if I would like some meds which I gladly took, my pain went down to a 7.
22 hours later and lets just say I am sitting at a 7 BUT I know that my healthy looking discs are far from healthy and I believe in my heart that now I have a chance to be fixed once and for all. Would I do it again, YES. Do I wish I had this test a long time ago, ABSOLUTELY.
Hope this helps you some and that I have not scared you to death. Keep in mind the information this test provides your doctor is well worth it.
Wow, thanks to all of you for this helpful info. I realize everyone has different experiences so it was helpful to hear a range of replies
I would like to ask 123dietdrpepper, and anyone else who knows this, what you meant about your "normal" discs turning up pain problems on a discogram?? My MRI shows only an annular tear at L5/S1 and a slight bulge at L2-3, and my 2 doctors have differing opinions about whether these could be causing my debilitating pain that's left me mostly flat on my back for 8 months. One says my MRI looks "normal," and the other says the tear alone can cause all my pain, hence the recommended discogram. Is it possible for a disc that looks normal on an MRI to show pain issues on a discogram, and therefore be an unknown cause of pain?
Hope all of you are blessed on your roads to recovery, and thanks again for taking time to answer me.
I have been being treated for Spondy in my L5 vertebrae. Tuesday I met with a surgeon and he was the first person to even mention that I have an annular tear in my L4-L5 disc with a bulge and disc disease. Since he was the first one to mention it to me, he was also the first one to think this could be adding to my pain. This is why I am having the test done. I was also confused that none of the other Dr.'s I have seen, who have viewed my MRI pictures and report, have not brought it up.
I guess we will both find out whether or not these torn discs are adding to the pain!
Beth60.....when they give you an epidural they try and re-create the pain you are complaining about....they will inject a normal disc to compare against the damaged discs.....the normal should have little pain vs the ones that get injected with damage....you will be able to tell them the difference.
This was how it went for me.....first poke was uncomfortable second poke was painful (as usual ) third was even more painful but was the pain that is responsible for my problems......some people have backs in worse shape and really leave the table when they re-create it......good luck.
You ask if it is possible for a disc that looks normal on an MRI to show pain issues on a discogram, and therefore be an unknown cause of pain?
Yes, a disc can be a pain generator and be 100% normal on all other testing. This has happened to me. When they performed the standard MRI, CT scan, and myleogram these levels look normal for the most part. My doctor wanted this discogram done because I have an abnormal spine structure and he has been suspect of this disc for awhile. He personally does not like to do these discograms but feels that certain cases like mine require them.
Does normal discs act as a pain generator alot? I really don't know. I know that Justoneofus another user on the board had the same thing happen to her. In fact, her dr operated only on the level that was a pain generator on the discogram and left the abnormal looking level alone. She says she is about 95% recovered and is doing well. PRAISE GOD.
It sounds like a discogram well provide your doctors with a clear cut answer as to the source of your pain.
Please keep us posted on the date so that we can pray for you.
thanks for the info Meggs. It gets so confusing when different doctors tell you very different things and it makes me wonder if any of them really have a clue what they are talking about. I am glad you are getting some help and pray it brings you pain relief soon. Looking forward to hearing how you progress.
Wow, I am fascinated by what you said. You have encouraged me to bite the bullet and have that discogram done before long. The ortho who has been working with me has wanted to do one for the past 6 months, but I wanted to try other things that might help me get better before subjecting myself to discogram pain. Now that I've been mostly flat for 9 months I think I have to get this test done. I am having an EMG soon and plan to go for the discogram in early January (don't want to run the risk of more pain before the holidays).
The neurosurgeon I saw this week for a 2nd opinion looked at my MRI and stated the slight bulge at L2/3 and annular tear at L5/S1 were unremarkable to him and he didn't think they could be causing my pain. He is supposed to be the best in this area, but his line of reasoning doesn't fit with what I've read about these 2 problems being a very possible source of pain. You are truly the first person I've heard of who had a seemingly "healthy" disc turn up as a cause of pain; but, given the intracacies of the back it totally makes sense. Sometimes these doctors make you feel like you're just making up the level of your pain and debilitation, especially when it's sources are not glaringly obvious. It makes me wonder if any of them really know what they are doing. How do you sort through the differing opinions of different practitioners?? I have found hearing people's personal experiences, like yours, to be the most encouraging and helpful.
I plan to keep on reading and informing myself and to not give up searching for answers.
I can tell you are a Christian and a person of prayer - yahoo!! Thanks for reaching a hand of God's care to me and for the offer of prayers. Pray that somehow one of these doctors will figure out my source(s) of pain and know how to help me more. I am so grateful for the ways God has provided for me, especially on the days I thought I could't stand it any longer, and I'm sure you would say the same. May you continue to find healing and strength. Blessings to you!