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Has anyone had a discogram?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,670
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:32 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hi everyone:|Am scheduled for 6/17.. Looking for any suggestions or imput on what to expect from this procedure.
I am 17 mnths post ACDP at C5-6 for herniation after MVA on 9/24/07.. Have never been totally pain/numbness free except immediate post op..now have daily pain/numbness in left and right hands.arms. Did go back to work ( as a nurse case manager) for 12 months but with increase symptoms ( especially with hour commute and computer use) and meds have been out again since 4/09. Now on Kadian tiwce a day, plus Lyrica and Cymbalta. Neg EMG.MRI with contrast in 4/09 showed only small area a C6-7, unimpressive says surgeon.. so that is when he ordered discogram.
Any experiences I would appreciate. Thanks..:)



  • But I am curious as to his reasoning behind the disogram....I am actually curious to see if my docs would agree to it for me. From my understanding is that is helps to see more than an mri - finds tears and so forth missed on an mri.

    My situation is my herniation has increased - but have neg emg - so they don't know if the heniation is what is causing my pain - I haven't loss strength or reflexes. I don't have numbness, I have pain that comes and goes down the arms and fingers. Constant shoulder, elbow, but not the fingers...

    Just curious - I am sure someone soon, will fill you in on what to expect - I have heard it can be somewhat painful - but if you have gone thru spinal injections or nerve ablagation, I would assume something similar.

  • Thanks for the info.. it has been compared like having the spinal injections which I had 2 without change..and the rational to see if there is something below or above the fusion that is causing symptoms not found on MRI.
  • The discogram is hopefully going to show the doctor which disc is the pain generator. He or she will inject the suspected discs as well as a control disc (one he believes is not damaged) The procedure is uncomfortable at the least but you can do it. The doctor will strap you onto a table and stretch your neck to make it easy to get to the spine. I was put under and then wakend when he was ready to inject the disc. Once I YELLED in pain he quickly withdrew the needle and the pain was gone and I was put back under. At least that is what I remember of it.

    Good luck to you
  • I had a discogram prior to having my surgery. My surgeon ordered it to be sure the pain I was having was caused by the disc injury C5-6 that was shown in the MRI. They injected C4-5, C5-6, C6-7 with the saline....the only disc that caused me any pain was C5-6. I was awake for the entire procedure so that I could tell the doctor when I had pain. It was painful, but I felt much better going into surgery knowing that the disc was indeed the cause of my pain.
  • Good luck and please let us know what happens. I would love to have my surgeon order the test instead of all the guessing they do. It will definately be worth it ..to be able to find out the exact disc causing the pain.
  • The disogram wasnt awful..the sedation helped..was kind of interesting to feel the pop when the needle entered the disc (the nurse in me) and the neck,shoulder, hand pain I usually feel was re-created at C6-7 the level under my initial fusion at C5-6 in 2007. I heard this can occur if the disc is weak below. In my case did have a small buldge ( from the MVa 9/07) but not enough to fix surgically the first time.
    Any one have any experiences with having another ACDF below the initial fusion?..
    I remember the post op issues.. I am concerned about PM post op since I am on big doses of Kadian twice a day.. plus the Lyrica and Cymbalta.
    Thanks for all the input.
  • Hi Deb,
    Did your discogram then indicate that you should have another fusion already? I am curious as to what your surgeon recommended after you went through this. Is the weak C6-7 now doomed to an ACDF too?
    PS I'd start a new thread if you want to know about second fusions as I've read about them in other posts and not everyone will see you question under this thread. :-)
  • My Doctor today told me he is sending me for a discogram same as suz71 at C4-5, C5-6, C6-7...It never ends...
  • Thanks Dee:
    I had a small buldge at C6-7 after my initial MVA..had mostly C5-6 symptoms and involvement which lead to the single level fusion in 2007..which may have weakended C6-7..but nothing lower.. hopefully this will derease my issues since havent had success with conservative treatment,, 6 mths PT accupunture, rest, off work since 4/09 and now on stronger meds ( Kadian) which I really dont want to stay on forever..
    I think a new tread on second fusions sounds like a great idea.
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