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Discogram? how long with additional pain?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,731
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:24 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi, after reading some posts here about discograms, I know they are very painful. I have also read some people say they have increased pain afterwards. If you have had increased pain after having a discogram, how long did it last?

I am considering having one done, but I am wondering if I should wait until after the holidays if my pain level is going to increase for a month or more.

Thanks in advance for your responses.
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Comments

  • I had my first discogram in the late morning and surgery later that day. I was too doped up to notice.

    The second disco I had, was on one day, and surgery the next.
    I definitely had lots of pain after the disco and spent the next 24 hours in lots of pain.

    I could not have survived any longer than that.
    However, I didn't have any good drugs to control the pain.
    -----------------------------
    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
  • i had a discogram on l3 l4, l5 about two months ago. the doc was really great explaining everything and talking my thru the procedure. yes, it was a very difficult test to have done. My pain only lasted a day or two after the procedure and it was a tolerable pain. i think i took some neurontin afterwards but it was only temporary. Best of luck!
  • I really think it would depend on what they find. the worse problems would probably continue longer but I do not think that you would be in pain from the disco for a month. I had mine on a Tuesday and surgery on a Thursday. I did have pain meds so it is difficult to say.
  • I had a discogram last Thursday on three levels. Two of the discs were pain inducing. The pain during the procedure was tremendous, I won't lie. It was definately a 10+. The low back pain dissipated as they gave me a shot of some pain meds after the procedure. My low back was a bit aggravated for the remainder of the day so I just took a long nap. The day after I had soreness in the area where the needles were placed and a little bruising there but otherwise felt fine. On day three I felt stiffness in the area where the needles were placed. After that, just back to my normal pain. Yippee!!

    I hope this helps.

    One Love,

    Stephanie
  • I had one this year and yes they do hurt. The pain lasts for about two days. I found it got better every hour and stayed in my recliner for the first day. Medication helps the pain. Make sure you have someone to drive you home. My pain management doctor did the procedure but when I saw the neurosurgeon he said it was unnecessary and that an MRI would show what is necessary. Best Wishes
  • I also had a discogram. Although the purpose of the test is to generate pain, the more accurate description of the purpose is to stimulate pain that resembles the pain that you normally experience; that way your medical team has a "smoking gun" that they can aggressively treat.

    I was sedated during the beginning of the procedure, and brought out for the disk pressurization. It hurt, for the most port, as much as the normal pain in the disks they were examining. Adjaecent disks were uncomfortable when pressurized, but not necessarily painful.

    I was uncomfortable from the procedure on the way home, and for the day following. It was back to normal pain levels after that.

    Hope this helps.
  • It depends. I would recommend that you have some pain meds on hand for the 2 days following the procedure. I would definitely have it done. In my case, they found a 3rd disc that was causing a significant amount of the pain. Also, not everyone experiences more pain from the test. I did not but I had had the same chronic pain for almost 2 years. Good luck and let us know what you decide. :)))
  • It depends. I would recommend that you have some pain meds on hand for the 2 days following the procedure. I would definitely have it done. In my case, they found a 3rd disc that was causing a significant amount of the pain. Also, not everyone experiences more pain from the test. I did not but I had had the same chronic pain for almost 2 years. Good luck and let us know what you decide. :)))
  • It depends. I would recommend that you have some pain meds on hand for the 2 days following the procedure. I would definitely have it done. In my case, they found a 3rd disc that was causing a significant amount of the pain. Also, not everyone experiences more pain from the test. I did not but I had had the same chronic pain for almost 2 years. Good luck and let us know what you decide. :)))
  • I had 2 discograms, both at different places and the first one I wouldn't have recommended even to my worst enemy! It hurt sooo bad! They gave me a local and that was it!
    The second one I had was a breeze! They gave me a local and kept giving it to me as they put the rods in my back! I didn't feel a thing until they injected me with the fluid to induce the pain, but it was soooo much better than the first one! The first one I was a "truck driver" with my mouth, no offense to those truck drivers out there! :D I threatened the doc that I was gonna take a needle or 2 and shoot him where the sun don't shine! :D }:) That one was at a regular hospital with the pain doc. The 2nd one was done at a big hospital in Boston and it was soooo much better! I was with my mother and daughter who is 7, and we went to the Christmas Tree Shops after to shop and then went to luch! Go figure!
    If you have to get one, ask and see if the doc can or does give the local all the way until the needle/rods are in, or is it just in the beginning under the skin, no further.

    Good luck!
  • It sounds like it isn't as bad as I had thought, maybe I got it mixed up with another procedure. It sounds like most people were back to 'normal' (their pre-procedure pain level) in a few days.

    My PM is the one who would be doing it. She said that she does them on Wednesday's, and wants you not to return to work until the following Monday. So that should be plenty of time for recovery.

    She said the discogram may be diagnostic for her, regardless of whether I end up having surgery. So now I've decided that at my next appointment I will ask about scheduling the discogram and also a recomendation for a surgeon. I think that is the way to proceed for now.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences with me, it is very helpful.
  • =))

    They gave me knock out, loss of memory drugs so I can't remember a thing.

    Sounds good eh!

    I understand I was in extreme pain...I just hope they will forgave my colourful language! LOL!!
  • Those of you who were sedated and then woken and poked and then sedated again are lucky! I was allowed no pain meds before the procedure, even my regular ones. I'm gonna have a little talk with my doc!!!! :/

    One Love,

    Stephanie
  • To Be or Not To Be...

    Put under that is. ;)

    Hmm, good point. I will have to remember to ask about pain management during the procedure. I do know they have to be able to have you tell them if you have the same pain, so you can't be totally out of it during the disc injection. I am pretty sure she said she would put me out, then bring me back again when they injected the dye, then put me back out. Sounds good to me.

    But I will ask again to make sure.
  • They did the same thing for me. They told me that I wouldn't remember anything. But I do remember them telling me they were doing it and being in immense pain, and them telling me they were giving me something. But it is more like a far off memory. So, the procedure really wasn't that bad at all this way.
  • Mine hurt for quite some time afterwards, but by a few days afterwards it was close to where it was beforehand. However, my procedure was definitely painful- BUT without it they wouldn't have done the surgery, so it's definitely worth it!
  • :''( i had enough pain and suffereing for 10 years with neck, back shoulder, elbow, wrists, I had my acdf c4-6 done on 10/22/08, i am still in a lot of pain but more manageable than the first 2 weeks, but still have the same pain as before the surgery! SO WHAT IS THIS DISCOGRAM STUFF, BECAUSE I NEVER WANT TO DO IT. THIS SOUNDS REALLY PAINFUL, GOD THE EMG, OR WHATEVER NERVE TEST THEY DID TO FIND WHAT DISC IT WAS AND WHERE THEY WERE DAMAGED WAS BAD ENOUGH, THE MRI SHOULD SHOW ALL THAT, AND THAT IS UNBEARABLE BECAUSE IT IS A COFFIN!! PLEASE TELL ME WHY A DISCOGRAM AND WHO DO THEY USUALLY GIVE THEM TOO> THANKS
  • Oh man. I have to have one done. And this is about a month after I just went through a CT Myleogram!!!!! That was HELL!!!! I think I will ask for the putting me out and waking me for the pain part! :jawdrop:
  • Hi-

    I have had both an EMG and the discogram. As far as my experience goes the EMG (5 years ago) was worse than my discogram. For my discogram they knocked me out at the beginning and end of the procedure. I remember that I had pain during the procedure, but it is kind of like a distant memory. Plus it really confirmed that both of my disks were causeing pain and it was necessary to have a two level fusion. Now the EMG is something that I hope I never have to do again. My DH said he could hear me yelling from the waiting room. :))(

    I would definately find someone who will sedate you before and after the procedure.
  • Hi Cathy:

    I had a 5 level discogram with no sedation. When they "HIT the SPOT" you will know it! I was fine afterwards, we went out to eat. I was also OK the next day. Everyone's experience is different.

    Ellen
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