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discogram ???

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Old 04-21-2005, 06:45 AM   #1
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kt41577 HB User
discogram ???

do you have to have a discogram? what is the purpose of having one? I see that most of you have had one before having surgery, they sound so aweful!!
I'm going to see a surgeon next month, and I have no clue what he will do for me, but that scares me!!

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Old 04-21-2005, 07:16 AM   #2
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Valley HB User
Exclamation Re: discogram ???

Hi, most doctors want a discogram done before they do surgery because it shows exactly what is causing the pain. The test is painful, but most doctors will use sedation, and you only have pain when they find the disc that is causing the problem, and as soon as you tell them where the pain is they will give you something for the pain. Don't be scared, it is not a fun test, but you can get through it. Valley

Old 04-21-2005, 07:24 AM   #3
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diva78 HB User
Re: discogram ???

I'm right three with Valley on this one. I have to get one least I'm 99% sure thats what my ortho doc will be telling me when I go see him next week to follow up on all of my tests that I've had so far. I've heard all of the horror stories as well but everyone is different. But trust me you need to ask a bunch of questions to the doc that will be doing the procedure. Not all doctors give you sedation or anything for the pain before during or after the test! THIS IS A TOTAL NO NO! If your doc believes he gets better results being barbaric...WALK AWAY! I know a few of my friends had it done and regret the fact that they didn't find that out beforehand! So...I will be sure to find a doc that will treat me and my pain...and not torture me in the process of finding out exactly where my pain is coming from. If you want to find out exactly what the test a search on any search engine out there...just type in Discogram. of you luck to you on your journey....your not alone!!!!

Old 04-21-2005, 09:20 AM   #4
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Read66 HB User
Re: discogram ???

It is a painful procedure, but it is the most helpful for the dr. to find exactly which disc(s) are causing the pain. And the major pain when the hit the bad one last only a couple of minutes and then resides. Mine didn't go away and I was pretty uncomfortable for about 5 days after disco. But I just tell myself, it's valuable information for the doc. Keep your chin up. If you have to get it done, just remember its over quickly.


Old 04-21-2005, 01:36 PM   #5
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Bionicwan HB User
Re: discogram ???

I was one of the NOT lucky ones.

WHATEVER you do, ASK if you will be sedated. IF they say no, then YOU say no.

Too many Dr's are willing to sedate you - while a few do not believe in sedation.

I will not share the details of mine, no need in scaring you anymore than you are but I could not in good consience NOT warn you of my mistake in "assuming" sedation would be used. Some have had not unbearable ones so I KNOW it's possible.

you really should NEVER commit to surgery unless you HAVE had one - they are that valuable. They show your Dr if your pain is generated by your disc - your disc's are too precious to you to be messed with unless it's 100% certain they are pain generators.

good luck
and please keep us posted

Old 04-21-2005, 04:18 PM   #6
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Re: discogram ???

I have had 2 discograms done the first was a false negative as I was to sedated to respond and passed out on the table, the second was done at a another clinic and I was found to have 2 levels abnormal, it is possible to have a mild sedation but to much is going to effect the outcome as it is important for you to be alert to respond to the dr as to what and where the pain is being recreated.
I as most will tell you believe that a discogram is one of the best diagnostic test for finding the location and cause of pain and if your leaning towards surgery then I would say a must.
The pain is said to be no worse then the worse pain you have had I'm not real sure I agree as it was pretty bad, but worth it if as I said you are planning surgery.

Old 04-25-2005, 02:35 PM   #7
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Rampage HB User
Re: discogram ???

that's actually the have to have SOME relief but you have to be AWAKE.

i was not given anything by the dr prior, but he told me i could take some pain meds with a sip of water prior (not supposed to eat or drink 6 or so hrs prior?). but, he gave me an epidural immediately following to help me begin to move around, since this can be a painful experience.

i HAD to have one, b/c 5 mris revealed NOTHING. so you may have no other choice if you're in the same boat. i had no other diagnostic options left for me...i'd no idea what was causing my pain.

the great thing is, like bionicwitch said, it's great to id problems and potentially keep you from having REAL surgery. when i had my idet done last summer, i frankly felt nothing, b/c i'd already been through the discogram!

good luck!
Accident '00
Sciatica, L3-4 Tear, Spinal Stenosis, DDD L3-S1
IDET '04
Laminectomy '06
Fusion (BMP) L4-5 '11
Anterior Fusion (BMP) L3-S1 '13

Old 04-25-2005, 02:50 PM   #8
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et318 HB User
Re: discogram ???


A discogram involves passing a needle into the intervertebral disc in order to inject a small amount of contrast into the disc. This is done to ascertain the internal integrity of the dics. Your spinal discs have a nucleus that contains a fluid that when contained inside the disc is fine. However, if there is an internal tear of the disc that allows the fluid to escape that can be the source of severe back and leg pain. This fluid is an irritant to the adjacent spinal nerves.

The discs to be injected are chosen by reviewing your MRI and symptoms.
This test is important because a disc can look abnormal on MRI but not be provoking any pain. You do not want any surgeon operating on you based solely on MRI results.

On a normal disc the contrast pools in the center of the disc and no pain is provoked. Yet, you may feel a pressure sensation. In an abnormal disc, the contrast will leak from the disc and your usual pain will be provoked. This should subside as the pressure comes off of the disc.

Another important aspect of a discogram is that when a painful level is found there must be an adjacent level that does not recreate your usual symptoms when tested during discography. Discograms are often used as a test before fusion. You do not want your surgeon fusing one painful level to another painful level If other discs adjacent to the painful disc are also causing pain then this is a poor predictor for a good surgical outcome. In an optimal discogram, the level above the painful level provokes no pain. The level below the painful disc could also be used if needed.

If it is found that multiple discs provoke your usual pain this is also an indicator of a potentially poor surgical outcome.

Old 04-26-2005, 08:08 AM   #9
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Thumbs up Re: discogram ???

Thanks et318 and everyone else for the useful info here. et318's explaination is very helpful!!

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