Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test


AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:29 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
One of my doctors has asked me to get a discogram since my MRI and myelogram didn't show enough. Has anyone had this done? And do you know if this would show a disc fragment that's separated from the actual disc? My doctor said something about a disc fragment hiding under the S1 nerve root. But he still wants more tests to be sure. I understood that a discogram would only show the outline of the original disc, not any fragments that are separated. If anyone has info on this, please let me know. Thanks.



  • I had a lumbar discogram to every level of lumbar spine done the Monday before Thanksgiving 2003. They put you out before they put the catheter in to test the discs but bring you to when they induce the "pressure" to which are pain indicators. In my case I was thankful I had "weights" on my legs or I would have kicked the anesthetist in the face lol due to pain. I was positive in 3 discs but 2 were the worst and that decided what sites my NS was going to do fusion.
    I never had one done for cervical fusion as the MRI's were indication enough!

    Call your doctor and ask lots of questions. Google discogram and read up on everything. I did this and found a great site, spineuniverse.com and watched videos/read articles on various things I had to have done!!

    Good Luck and God Bless,
  • I just had one last week and it was brutally painful . From what I understand the dye shows the disk when they x-ray and ct scan if the disk is missing a big hunk it should show that it may not show where the chunk went but that it is missing.Be ready to be in bad pain for A day or 2 .good luck
  • I had a discogram and like the others say, it's painful. I could stand it, but after it was other, I had tears running out of my eyes. I was aching pretty bad.

    My MRIs never showed that I had a Grade 3 annular tear and part of my disc was missing (where'd it go?) I think the arthritis monster ate it. They never explained what happened to it, but anyway....yes, it should show up. They inject dye into the disc space and it brightens up everything in their viewer so they can see exactly the shape and whats in there.

    Good luck with the test....you'll be okay. It was like getting several epidurals done one after the other. I felt pressure on my better discs and that's all, but the one that was torn hurt and made me have zaps run down my hips and legs.
  • Thank you so much for your information. This helps. And I have been googleing discograms, but I'm not finding everything I want to know out. My concern is the chunk that's missing.

    I also decided today to start keeping a diary. That way, when I go back to my doc, I will be able to tell him (and show him on paper) what I have experienced since our last visit. Maybe that will also help him with diagnosis. He seemed concerned that I don't have back pain. So, I've been trying to pay more attention to that for him. I did have some this morning, which started right before the leg pain. That in itself should be valuable info I HOPE. (Sometimes I think I'm too vague about my symptoms.)

    Anyway, thanks again.

  • I keep hearing from everyone that these disc o grams are painful. So I was really fearful of it when I went in. Maybe I just had a better doc, I don't know but I don't remember a thing. Had all levels of my lumbar spine done and am going to have four fused as the indications of the test were that each level was causing significant pain, but I don't remember a thing. So it all depends on your doc but also from what I am told it will reveal what you are looking for...

  • Would you know if a discogram shows a free fragment (separate from the actual disc)? Do you know if the discogram expands the disc they inject? Do they do a CT scan afterward?

    Thank you,

  • mine hurt like hell.the man hit a nerve but the pain goes away when it is over.It is the only way they could see the anterior tear in my disk so it was worth it.Just bring some good pain meds for afterwards and you will be fine.Some people do better then others.Make sure who ever does it does atleast 3 -4 a week otherwise they are not good enough.That is what my surgeon said thanks,lisa
  • I had my myelogram, then the discogram, then the CT scan. I had to roll over once before the CT scan to "mix up the dye" again. They claimed that it settles after a bit.

    It should show the fragment. The CT scan pictures were really bright from all the dyes.
  • Discogram... sounds like you should get it in the mail, right? Or someone should show up at your door and sing it to you.
    But it has to be done for any serious surgical candidate, and you have to be somewhat awake. Not fun, and you will ache a lot afterwards. Just ask the doc for as much of whatever he CAN give you to make it bearable (they make you relaxed and dizzy, but will not give you pain meds until afterwards).
  • I just got my results and my L-5 S-1 is completely degenerative , I asked what they could find out from the test and he said the injection part is to find the pain generator the ct scan is to see where the dye goes if it stays in the disk or goes out a hole or rupture , So to answer your question they should be able to see everything thats going on.
  • I haven't had a discogram (someone upstairs has looked out for me ;) ) so I can't advise you on that, but I've gone through two ct/myelograms. I guess they saw enough so as not to put me through that painful procedure, and this done right after both surgeries. My recent MRI found scar tissue and I had an ESI two weeks ago that hurt like crazy. The symptoms are in my back and my legs. Well, all I can say that I will follow your story and see how you do on the discogram and also lend my support. Take care :H
  • Thank you so much for all this info. It's great to hear so many stories. My doctor hasn't actually ordered it yet. I have to go see her and ask for one, since this is what I was told would show the most. Because nothing has really shown up on other tests, this is now the test that's been suggested by someone else's doctor.

    Does anyone here know anything about a pain psychologist? I'm concerned as to why my orthopedic doctor would want to send me there. This is what he actually suggested. I'm assuming it's a test to see if you're making things up or not. That upsets me of course, since I don't feel like wasting my time and money.

    Thank you again for the information.

  • No, I really don't think it is about that. Chronic pain patients are usually sent to a psychiatrist to learn how to cope and address depression or anxiety if it's going on. Doctor know that chronic pain causes depression, not the other way around, and that they both go hand in hand. Did you agree to do it? I've seen my clinic's psychiatrist but it was only to qualify me for an SCS. I'm so happy I got my official "you're not nuts award" :> Just kidding O:)
  • Or for someone to show up at your door like this:


    I just got authorization from my insurance company for a disco-gram also. Should have that scheduled in the next few days.
  • I originally agreed to do it. But then I called my insurance, and psychological "anythings" are not covered. I called the ortho's office and relayed the message. The gal there told me the doctor usually tells patients to call their insurance and see if they can see another psychologist other than who he referred them to. So, of course, I tried that, and the insurance said, "No, no benefit for psychologists at all." So, I called the doc back and relayed that message. (What fun - a million phone calls a day.) Now I truly believe the doctor is going to think I'm crazy, being that I keep calling them to relay messages. Anyway, I won't be able to take the test from the psychologist because it costs $800. I don't have that kind of money to spend when I know it won't be applied to my deductible.

    I also asked for an EMG, which the doctor discussed with me while I was in yesterday. The nurse apparently asked him about it and he doesn't remember what he said... nice, huh? I told him yesterday that I didn't want the EMG due to the pain I had 20 years ago from it (and the fact that the "nice" doctor yelled at me for having the pain). I was only 20, and I'll never forget the way I was treated for not liking the EMG. It's amazing how different doctors can treat their patients. If they don't like us, why are they doing what they do??? (Oh ya, the money. LOL)

    Well, I'm a bit bitter right now, so I apologize. I so appreciate your comments about the psychologist. I just want my doctor to take me seriously. I don't have time or money to mess around with going from doctor to doctor.

    Thanks again.

  • I paid 20% ($150) for my psych evaluation. You do what you can, and if the insurance won't pay then it's not your fault (and not even necessary to begin with). Yeah, I don't have $800 to chit chat with somebody. Ridiculous! I'm also appalled as to how you were treated at the last EMG. It shouldn't hurt huh? I'd say put your money where your mouth is and stick this long needle.. :$

    Don't blame you one bit for being bitter. Hang in there :)

  • Love that picture. Too bad I can't boogie no more and have to put up my dancing shoes. =))
  • LOL! =)) That's the visual I get as well. Glad I'm not the only one!
Sign In or Register to comment.