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Need Help Interpretting Results of Discogram

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Old 06-22-2006, 08:18 PM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: virgnia
Posts: 67
DogMom22 HB User
Need Help Interpretting Results of Discogram

Iím trying to figure out if my recent discogram which has been declared negative was maybe a false negative (I have not seen or talked to my doctor about the test results but I did hear him say the test was negative when he left the procedure room.)

The first disc that was injected and caused extreme pain but not my normal pain, it was on the other side of my body and radiated through my buttons and hip and into my side, it was very intense and made me cry (not sob, but lots of tears and moaning. I was given at least 2 doses of fentanyl and maybe a third (not sure as I was lightly sedated) to get the pain under control. When the next disc was injected the pain from the first one was still present and pretty intense and occupying most of my attention. I felt the second disc being injected as a deep pain and it was in the general area of where I feel my pain, but it did not replicate my pain fully in that it did not radiate in itís usual way to my hip, groin and thigh. In addition the pain I felt was gone in about a second and it was nowhere as intense as what was still occurring from the first injection of the first disc. On this second injection, I was asked if I felt it and I said yes, but that it wasnít my pain for the reasons I described above, but because I was drugged I was unable to describe these things, in fact I donít think I even know why I answered that way then, it is only now looking back that I am wondering about this. The injected a third disc which was almost identical to the second except the pain was in a slightly different location but still in the same area where my back hurts. On this third disc I also remember wondering at the time why they kept asking me if I was feeling what they were doing because the other side of my body was killing me from the first one and that was all I could really think about.

So, now I am looking back at all of this. I thought the discogram would be considered positive if the injection of contrast into the disc replicated my normal pain and the doctor also saw some kind of damage to the disc under the fluoroscope. I thought that in order for my pain to be considered to be replicated it would have to be itís full syndrome with all itís normal aching and radiation. Also because of the intensity of the pain on the other side of my body from the first disc I think I maybe then also expected to feel the same intensity when they tested the last two discs and when I didnít it made me think my pain wasnít replicated. The other thing that is kind of weird, is that when the last 2 discs were being tested, I didnít even know that was what they were doing. I remember them asking me if I felt them and I did and answered, but at the time I didnít know why this was going on. All I was really aware of was the other side of my back hurting and wondering what they were going to do about that, cause I thought I was dying and couldnít understand why they kept asking me if I was feeling other disturbances in my back. I know this is all distorted by the meds they gave me.

So, if when I meet with my doctor next he tells me there was damage to either or both of the last 2 discs that were tested, do you think it is likely that I unknowingly answered incorrectly and my test has resulted in a false negative, something I have read that is fairly common Ė maybe the fentanyl I received dulled my reaction to the pain Ė or that I was only suppose to tell them if I felt pain in the Ďareaí and that it didnít have to radiate to my hip and groin and be intense like it was when the first disc was tested?

I probably sound nuts Ė why does this woman want her discs to be bad? Well I donít, but I suspect they are bad and if they are, I would like a diagnosis so I can get proper treatment. It is very difficult to get doctors to treat you when they can find nothing wrong with you and very difficult to live when something is so clearly wrong and you canít function. Also, my symptoms are close to disc problems and I have felt for a long time this is what the problem is, it has just taken me 3 years to get a discogram as all my other tests are Ďcleaní. I need to either rule this in or out.

Thanks for any thoughts.

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Old 06-22-2006, 10:26 PM   #2
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Berryville, Virginia
Posts: 2,381
Justoneofus HB User
Re: Need Help Interpretting Results of Discogram

I understand you completely. You are hoping that if something is wrong.. it's identified properly so you can fix it if you can. Makes sense to me.

My doctor would NOT give me any sedation or anything during the procedure as he wanted nothing to cloud the results of the test. It was the most horrific pain I have gone through.. and when it was over.. I did indeed sob uncontrollably, as I felt like I had just been willingly tortured. I was not given anything until right before discharge when they gave me some morophine and percocet.. only to be violently ill all night from the percocet.

Discograms are not absolute, but are often extremely helpful in determining where pain may be coming from. Mine turned out to be a big shocker for the whole O.R. I have a bulging disc at L5/S1 which all the many doctors assumed was causing my pain all these years. Well they injected dye there and no reaction 3 times. Then they shot my L4/L5 and my leg flew off the table, uncontrollably, which he repeated several times (which was my pain exactly but 100x fold). He even said.. well well well.. look what we have here!. Turned out that L4/L5 was ruptured and badly leaking. The dye left almost as quickly as he injected it, but the pain certainly lingrered on and on. So in my case.. it showed a sleeper that was causing my pain but was not showing up as any big issue on the MRI's I had done over the last 3 years.

Now fused at L4/L5 9 weeks now. Doing alright.

Good luck to you and I hope that they find the source of your pain. Take care. Tammy

Old 06-23-2006, 06:49 AM   #3
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Florida
Posts: 437
charliecat31 HB User
Re: Need Help Interpretting Results of Discogram

I too understand what you are saying about wanting to know what is causing your pain so it can be properly diagnosed and fixed. It was several years after my injury that I finally endured a discogram and felt like you do - not wanting to have something wrong with me, but since all the other tests showed nothing, I wanted the discogram to be positive so I could start the journey of improvement.

Best I can say is to wait until you talk to your dr. about the test results. Tell him exactly what you've told us, that you aren't sure the answers you were giving were right

Whatever happens, I wish you a speedy end to your pain!

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