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Getting a Discogram!!!

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:22 AM in Spinal Injections
Dr office just called. I am considering a spinal fusion to correct 2 ruptured discs and one degenerated. They scheduled me for a discogram next wednesday. Said I cannot take any pain meds!!! I have had 4 epidurals, last one was brutal!!
How bad is this discogram. Pretty nervous. Alergic to pain too...


  • it hurts like heck. But is a necessary evil to insure that your pain is actually coming from your discs. Once the pain starts they do numb it up pretty quick and should give you some really good drugs to take home with you. Of course if the pain does not come from your discs it will not hurt at all. It will be the same exact pain that you are experiencing now only very magnified. Good luck and please keep us posted.
  • Yes, it is uncomfortable but if you've had all the other injections you'll be used to it. You'll get put out to start which really helps. I had extra pain for about 10 days after but it's manageable with pain meds and maybe some ice packs. It's the next stage after going through the ESI, the nerve root blocks and the denervation to rule out problems with the facet joints. If none of those work the next stage is to test the discs.
    I went through all the injections and denervation and ended up with multi level surgery - ADR at L3/L4, L4/L5 and ALIF at L5/S1 and all of that was diagnosed with the discogram.

    Hope it all goes OK for you. Don't worry, the medication really helps. Keep us posted on the outcome
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  • It hurt like heck! The Dr would not give me anything for pain and I was not allowed to take any of my own. Pain meds would interfere with the test results I was told.
    I had FOUR discs done! It was brutal. They were unable to replicate the major pain I am experiencing. Not sure what happens next? I am super sore and guess I will be for a few days. Glad it is over...
  • That is weird. When they called to confirm my apt on my disco they told me not to take my meds. I went in for the apt and they could even do anything because I was in so much pain. My NS was pissed off to say the least! He called the outpatient place I was to have the Disco done at and reamed them a new one! He told me that I needed to stay on the pain meds and to be sure to take my morning dose before I went in. I dont understand why they ask you to stop. I know they want to recreate the pain, but like me I am sure you still have the pain even when on meds.

    Like you said though, at least it is over! They had me pretty well doped up when they were doing to procedure. It still hurt like hell though.

    Dont know what to say on your next step though. The doc will look at the results and possibly do another sort of test. Try to be as specific as possible when you see your doc again. In all reality finding what is causing our pain is as much of a guessing game for the docs as it is for us.

    Good luck and let us know what you find out!!
  • I just had my discogram yesterday. Like many others, I searched and searched the internet to find out what it was like. I found terms like "worse than child birth, cried like a baby, and torture". My Dr. told me what would happen during the procedure and why it was necessary, but he said NOTHING about how they would make me comfortable. That coupled with the fact that I was told the wrong time to get the injection and people in the waiting room were yelling at the staff made me MORE than nervous.

    To prep, I got a good night sleep. I also took a xanexx and one lortab. I figured if he was going to do good disc and compare my reaction of the bad disc to that one, he could still do that. Keep in mind, I've been on 3 lortab a day for 3 months now so one doesn't knock me out.

    I eneded up getting versed for the procedure. I was told by the nurse that some people, radiologists in particular (no offense to you guys) would do it with out pain killers and their office thought that it was just stupid to do that. I was given that a couple times and a shot of demerol and phenogram afterwards. All in all, there was pressure, and I grunted a few times but it wasn't as bad as I expected and I'd do it again. My myleogram was much worse. The worst part, and I'm not sure if something was hit that wasn't supposed to be, or if he was inflating the discs, it felt like someone sent a 220 Volt electrical charge down my right leg. I jumped out of reflex and looked back. The pain stopped almost immediately but I was told that "I came in all worried about the procedure and now you're jumping. If you do that agian I'll stop the procedure. Nurse - hold his head down!!!".

    Long story, but here's my advice. There are plenty of people who do these things. Get someone who will answer all of your questions, explain the process days before you go in, someone with a good beside manner, and someone who uses medication.

    I'll post the results when I get them. I hope this helps and it's my sincere hope that anyone who gets a discogram will soon get their problem fixed.

    By the way, I'm sitting up and sore, but just where the needles went in (this really isn't bad as they numb the area well). I don't enjoy bending over, but other than that, it's okay.

    Best of luck to everyone on getting your problem fixed. I'll pray for your recovery!
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  • I have commented on other postings on discorams, but yes they are not fun. I had mine two and a half weeks ago and I'm still not back to baseline pain.

    I had a good doctor and allowed me to take pain meds prior, normal dose, they put me out and then gave me goood iv drugs right after. I had two discs that were ten times the amount of pain I have ever had in my life, but after a few seconds they gave me the drugs and evedintly I had quite the reaction because the nurse said she had to give me alot to calm me down. After that I wanted my wife to go with me to get coffee in the lobby, I was doing well right after and slept for 6 hours once I got home.

    I am still waiting to have my consultation with my surgeon (oct 23!). The discogram doctor said that the disc that reproduced my pain is totaly diseased, I not sure what this means for my future? On monday I get a ESI and hopefully by knowing exactly where to give it will help the outcome. Even with the pain I feel that the discogram is worth the amount of information they get from it and would do it all over again.
  • Hi friends in common, I just went for a discogram this past Wed. I was not really nervous as I had done some research and was prepared. The procedure itself was a piece of cake compared to what I endure in pain on other days. I felt pretty good afterwards and was really quite surprised. I went back to my hotel room to recoup, as they told me I would not be able to drive. I woke up the next morning feeling dreadful and sore. I think I was sedated more than I realized. Now that was pain. I was told to go to emerg. and get checked out. After waiting three hours, I realized there was probably nothing they could for me so I went back to my hotel, checked out, put on a icy-hot patch on lower back and drove 3 1/2 hours home.. Those patches really help. Forgot to say after discogram, dr. said he was sorry but surgery was not an option for me due to the fact that the 3 discs he was testing were all damaged, as well as some spinal stenosis, & spondylolethis. My family dr. already has results and I am to go see her next week. It will be interesting as I have been on disability for six months , I do home care as a profession and I know that I will not be able to go back to that kind of work. I am not young (52) and not really qualified to do anything else. Anyway I guess what I am saying is the procedure itself was not bad but it has been very sore for four days now. This is quite normal afterwards. I will keep you posted after my dr.s appt. next week. Hang in there, be strong. I think we are all stronger than we realize. Take care, Nancy
  • I've had a discogram three times. The first one was hell and without pain meds which is absolutely unnecessary! Another surgeon later did the last two and they were performed at a surgical center with the whole O.R. team including the anesthesiologist who administered propofol, versed and fentanyl. Even though I had these meds = it was still conscious sedation and much more humane!!! I am an R.N. and used to work in these areas - doing conscious sedation and post op care. Anyway, my surgeon was able to successfully find out which was the problem disc without putting me through hell.

    I also went home and slept for about 6 hours like someone else posted. I wish you the best on yours and hope it is humane.
  • I have heard horror stories about the discogram. EVERYONE has also said that it is the absolute best way to determine if a disc is bad enough for operation.
    My discogram is scheduled for 8 a.m. tomorrow and a CT afterwards. I'm petrified to say the least!
    No pain meds because they need you to feel the pain and rate it. This is the purpose of the test. (YIKES). Mine is in Thoracic region and 4 locations.
    I will be receiving Versed so hopefully I won't remember anything. (Pray to God)!!!
    I know it depends on if the disc is bad; if it hurts beyond belief or not. The discs that are bad are the ones that produce ALOT of pain during procedure..

    Can't wait for this one!!

    I will let you know how it goes and how the pain was.
  • (42 yr. old female)Mine is scheduled Jan 14th. The thing is I had 2 epi's and Dr. said they wouldn't hurt, I cryed in pain. Now Dr. said this will hurt and I cant imagine what this will feel like. I decided to research what people have to say about it and came to this website and I am relieved to see Im not alone. Well it didnt help my anxiety because it sounds like it does hurt. I pray I get some good meds. I just got done having my neck fused for the 3rd time so Im no stranger to surgeries but I didnt have to go through all this, my MRI said enough. I had an MRI yesterday for my lower back and I pray (again) that, that will be enough to warrant a surgery. So what is it they are doing? Sticking needles into each disk that is bolging? I wont be seeing anyone before his procedure and the brochure is limited on the important stuff I want to know. Thanks
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