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Discogram..any advise

turbo313tturbo313 Posts: 122
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:56 AM in Lower Back Pain
on what I am suppose to inquire about today? I have my consultation with the dr. who will be performing it. I have been reading up on the procedure and have been reading your experiences.

Is there anything in particular I need to discuss with him? I trust my NS and this dr is his recommendation. I am a bit nervous to say the least.

Any advise you can give will be greatly appreciated.



  • hi
    make sure you have booked sedation .i wont lie to you they are very painful .i am a big lad and used to constant pain .but i lost it when i had my discography .i have had many spinal injections but the discography is meant to hurt! and it will .post discography use ice as long as you can stand and keep the injection site clean .as its been right in to your spine .and you don't want osteomyelitis ,hope it goes well
    tony {UK}
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • Most important for me, ask them to knock you out before they put the needles in your discs then wake you up when they are ready to test. They did that for mine (which was less than a month ago). I was so out of it all I remember was some screaming but I don't remember the pain. Afterwards take it easy as you can. Ask them for an extra pain shot for the drive home. I am the biggest baby when it comes to pain, I'm sure you'll do fine, I made it. Be prepared to be sore for a few days after. Good luck!
  • bright and early!

    So basically no food, water or pain meds after midnight. The whole thing is suppose to be 4 hours: pre-op. procedure. recovery. He did say that he will be injecting steroids into the disks as well as the anaesthesiologist will be giving me some extra pain stuff afterwards.

    I am a bit nervous to say the least. He did tell me if will hurt, but not for long.

  • All the best tomorrow.Hopefully those 4 hours fly by for you. Are they doing the discogram on your L4-S1?
    How long have you been having lumbar pain?

    Take it easy afterward. Hope they give you plenty of pain medication and your trip home is bearable.

    Let us know how everything went, when you feel up to it.

    >:D< Karen
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • Good luck. And dont be nervious. I was in so much pain already when i had mine a litle more for a very short time was not that big of a deal. And you get a reward at the end by them giving you meds with it to help.
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • and good lord that hurt!

    the pain meds they gave me after did NOTHING for me. I got home and took my stuff which does actually help.

    findings were: L4/L5-DDD, no reaction, L5/S1-hurt like hell

    Now i just need to meet with my NS to see where we go from here.

    thanks for all the warm wishes and advise :)

  • Tony, that sounds like terror! I am so glad my doc did what he promised. I remember the screaming & it seems I kept trying to get off the table but they had me strapped down. My test was definately accurate. I had no problems telling them where the pain was according to the Dr. I really recall after the CT, I was in severe pain. I had approx. 7 shots of morphine (40 mg each) afterwards because they couldn't get my pain back under control, but I could NEVER imagine being completely aware of it all. I have seen my Dr twice since that day & everytime he asks me if I still hate him & wants to know if we are friends again. I am starting to think I threatened his life at some point LOL.
    I would do it again if need be but I would use the same Dr again. Finding out the real problem after being in severe pain for 14 months was worth it.....now onto the double fusion...I'm scared to death.
  • I did not go to lala land at any point. I was awake when they inserted the needles..that did not feel good at all. There was no down time for me.

    They did the procedure, had me roll over onto a gurney and rolled me on out. I was suppose to go to CT immediately, but it seemed like it took the nurse forever. She game me an iv shot of tramadol (not sure of the spelling) since i was leaving, no
    narcotics!!! Needless to say, that didn't do squat. Oh, and I got one IV bag of antibiotics.

    I finally went to CT and after that I went home. I did end up sleeping for like 5 hours afterwards. My back is hurting where they stuck the needles, but at least I know which disk is causing my pain now.
    I meet with my NS on the 20th to discuss my options. I will be asking him if I was suppose to be awake and alert during that procedure!
  • I am so sorry they did that to you. Now I am truly grateful that my doc was so caring that I got all the pain meds I wanted & needed. I can't believe that there are drs that will not prescribe something to ease your discomfort. That test is the absolute most painful test there is (providing you have bad discs), is it that they have no idea how bad it hurts? I really am sorry for you guys because you had to go through that and being so afraid on top of it all. How are you feeling now turbo??
    I know I ended up calling the Dr office about 3 times within the week after because of increased pain & swelling of my feet. Once when I called, the receptionist put him directly on the phone to talk to me, and i got a verbal increase in my regular meds. What type of Dr did your procedure? Mine was a pm doc. I must say it took him 14 months to find my disc tears but in that time period he has taken very good care of me, and he has an excellent bedside manner.
    Like I said before, I am really sorry for those that had to lay in pain after that procedure. Next week I will be meeting my surgeon. I pray that he will be as sensitive to me as my pm Dr is. I hope your pain level is better now, if not you should give your Dr a call and let him know. Did the hospital give you a follow up call to find out how you were the day after?
  • It is supposed to hurt. You are not supposed to be sedated BEFORE the test otherwise the results are skewed. It is the acid test that needs to be done to make absolutely sure where your pain generator is.

    The reason some of you are lied to is to stop you from whining so they can run the test.

    Let's see, a doctor is going to inject your spine with fluid to put it under pressure to see where you hurt. Hell yes it will hurt. If none of it hurts then 1 of 2 things happened. 1, you really don't have spinal issues. So don't let them do surgery when there are no pain generators. 2, you got so doped up before the test you can't tell if it hurts. Do any of think that is a really smart idea?

    I was given Versed afterwards to make me forget about it the first time. The second they just gave me morphine afterwards to make it through the CT scan. I went home and slept and took a couple of light pain killers. Went to work the next day after both times.

    There are much worse things in life than a discogram test, but yes, I do agree they suck. There is no way I would do a surgery without having it done.
  • ouchithurts said:

    Like I said before, I am really sorry for those that had to lay in pain after that procedure.

  • Yes I was aware that it was going to hurt. They said I would be in a twilight sleep meaning awake and able to respond, but I may not remember any of it. I remember it all.

    I am glad they gave you morphine Z06...I didn't get anything to help after the procedure or before the CT. Since this was my first discogram, I only new what to expect from the forums here.

    Would I get another again..yes it if it helps my dr. figure out what is causing my pain. My back was killing me this morning where they inserted the needles. I hope that it gets better soon.
  • If a person is in serious pain every day of there life as it is. Yes the test will hurt but its just a test. Anyone who is worried how bad they will be after the test, take a dose of your meds with you that they allow you to take after discogram is done.

    That way if what they give you is not enough and pain is still rral bad, you are able to take your meds along with what they give you to get through the ct thats done right after disc is injected.

    I dont go anywhere without having meds ready in my pocket and in my car for when i need it. You learn this when you have many years of chronic pain ,

    The trick with having the discogram is yes twilight just enough to keep the person calm, nothing to stop the pain while having it done. After its done hopefully they find the cause of the pain and can fix it.

    Fixing it is the complicated part.
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • can it be fixed?

    I did call the dr's office who did the discogram and asked if the pain i was experiencing was normal. They did call back and said discomfort is usual, but wanted to move the follow up appt. to tomorrow and called in a higher does of vicodin.

    I am anxious to see the CT results and see what they have to say.
  • I think worse case is ct shows leaking disc. That was the reason for my 1 st surgery was l4l5 disc was leaking.

    Only option i was given was fusion or adr which adr was still in trial in 2004.

    They sold me on sighning up for clinical trial of posibly geting the adr and having the chance of being able to go back to construction work and golf and all the good stuff.

    With clinical trials they draw the procedure and they only decide if they are fusing you or puting adr in after you are already on the table and sedated. I never knew if i was geting fusion or adr.

    I thought i got lucky when i woke up geting the adr until i moved and sharp nerve pain on left of the l4l5. I thought maybe its normal but no it was not. Its still a nightmare 8 years later. So fusion aint always bad and probably much safer,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • Tony, I would drive that bus right over them if I were you. I would be so mad about them making you lay there in pain. I'm glad you made it through.
    Turbo, how was you follow up? Any news on what they found??
  • turbo,
    please keep us posted on what they found and what your going to do about it. i hope its easy fix. well nothing is with the spine.
    i'm so glad u got thru the test..
    My doc had ordered one for me well over yr n half I never went..due to even if found what need to be fixed i was not ready for surgery.
    I have appt on Monday with my doc and if he suggest this test again, i'm thinking to get done.
    i am over 2 half yrs and getting worse day and with each step.
    I have had 3 docs say they feel its the l5,s1 causing issues they just want to pin point and this test would do that.
    And i will make sure the Pain doc that does it will put all we discuss in writing.. i don't want to hear all talk and then they don't do as said.. been there before.
    I understand this test you should be awake for so you can tell them the exact spot but I will be takin pain meds and I will be getting twilight to calm me down. and i will be getting injections of pain meds right after...Each of us is different and in my past I have my reasons for the way i will have this test done..
    My worry is that leakage that needles can cause..
    i have had many injections some with nothing and some with help and no way i will do it without taking anything for sure...
    yep call me big baby thats me
    good luck to you turbo
    neck,bone spurs pain started 04, back issues and fusion l4,l5 06~hardware removed.
    good few yrs. 09 pain sharp, numbness feet,legs, diagnosed fibro, neurop. legs.lung issues.
    daily goal do good thing for someone.
  • Hello all, I hope everyone is doing alright. I had my 2nd discogram last Thursday. Since
    I had one before I knew it was a painful test. I traveled 200 miles for this last one. It was really painful. But, I knew if I wanted it done right, I did not expect for it to be easy or to be made comfortable for it. Yep, it really hurt, mega bad. The pain was so bad,I couldn't stand up or walk after it. The Doctor who did the test was so kind. After he'd do a really bad disc, he'd say"I'm sorry, we'll be finished soon." I knew I'd hurt and I knew my pain was going to be regenerated, but I never expected to be hurting this bad, still!!!
    I've had my appointment with my surgeon, yesterday. I'm having an ALIF,Oct.17. Of course, insurance will have to approve it. As far as the discogram, and the pain being really bad, yep it is. It was the same danged ole pain I know and hate. Yep, soon as I could I took my pain meds. I didn't ask for anything to help with the pain, because I didn't want anything to take away from the results. But, that's me. We all suffer from alot of pain, we are different in what we need. That doesn't mean one is a baby or a complainer. We just are different. Mary, I know if you have the test, you'll do fine. We've had children. Childbirth is hard. But, so worth it!!! Discograms are bad, but really needed to find our pain. Take care all, hugs, Brenda C
  • L4-5: a broad based 3mm disc protrusion is present, causing mild concavity of the ventral thecal sac. Borderline or mild lateral recess stenoses are present at the level of the proximal L5 roots bilaterally. There is laterilization to the right foraminal and extra foraminal regions, where protrusion measures 4 or 5mm. Diffuse right foraminal and extra foraminal annular fissuring is seen. there is mild right foraminal stenosis, with contact and possible flattening of the proximal exiting right L4 root.

    L5-S1: mild right foraminal spondylosis seen. There is a broad-based 4mm disc protrusion laterilizing to the right foraminal region, with mild to moderate inferior right foraminal stenosis, but no displacement of the exiting right L5 root. Disc protrusion likely flattens the right S1 root in the lateral recess, but no frank lateral stenosis is seen.

    L4-L5 sounds worse than L5-S1, yet the L5-S1 is causing all of my pain! go figure

    Mary...the discogram sucked, but well worth knowing which disc is causing the pain. I wish you the best and hope they can help alleviate your pain.
  • tony
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • tony
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • tony
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • tony
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
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