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Discogram Information Needed

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:25 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hi all

Im a newbie to the forum and am seeking out information regarding the procedure of a discogram. I am 100% confident in my surgeon who is to perform the fusion. In 2006 I was rear ended by another vehicle hard enough to cause some bulging discs at c4 c5 c5 c6 c6 c7, which have caused me alot of pain, not to mention a severe change in lifestyle. Im 35 years old and the mother of 3 and have decided to have the fusion done after 4 medical opinions. I have never had any surgeries or have been hospitalized for any other reason then normal childbirths, so Im a little apprehensive when i heard what the discogram entails. Basically, i just want to hear some experiences and know if Im making a mountain out of a molehill. I just wonder if the pain from the procedure will be any worse then the pain I have on a day to day basis? I do not take narcotics on a regular basis(although I have been perscribed tons which I never filled) so I usually take a ibuprofin. I do take a muscle relaxer maybe once every few weeks if the pain is intolerable.
Thanks all :)


  • I had a discogram done Feb 08. It is a test to see if your discs are the culprit of your pain. It will only hurt if your disc is the source of your pain. The doc did my in L4-L5 first and it was just a little uncomfortable then he did L5-S1 and not to scare your or anything but I want to be honest, I remember I started feeling a burning on my left side and I remember saying that's weird, my left side is starting to hurt and I never have pain on that side, then the real pain hit. I started crying and it was horrible. The doc then flushes out whatever he injected and had me rest for a little while. They did give me a couple of xanax before the procedure to midly sedate me but they needed me awake so I could talk him through what I was feeling. I feel it is a necessary test and be sure to bring someone with you to drive you home and make sure you dont' have any plans that day or possibly the next day as you could be very sore for a couple of days.

    I wish you the best of luck and pray that your test will go smoothly and painfree. God Bless.
  • Hello
    I take it you are having a cervical discogram. Doctors preforming these are somewhat harder to find but they are out there. I had a discogram back in January of '07 with a March surgery of my C5-7 fused with instrumentation. The test is what confirmed my surgeons decision to operate. Unfortunately my pain has gotten worse since then so I went for another one last month. I see my surgeon on this Friday to go over the findings. from what I see I have a bulging disc right above my previous surgery. I also see I have a vertebrae that slipped since my surgery. This is the scary part.
    As far as the discogram procedure I had sedation whereas the doctor will wake you when he is ready to test a disc (a least 2 are tested. they always do a disc they do not expect to be giving any pain. he then puts you back under). Following the discogram you have a CT scan with contrast. That is how they found my slipped vertebra
    If having sedation it won't be bad at all
    Good luck to you
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  • Had one done in Feb of this year and quite frankly is was the worst diagnostic test Ive ever had, they give you pain meds IV, but not enough to knock you out....because you have to be able tell them pain or not. I would not ever want to do that test again. True, its a good tool for the doctors to see which dics are bad, but its not pleasant on the patient. Good luck to you!
  • I had a discogram on my lumbar spine a few months ago and it was easier that what I thought it would be. I was uncomfortable for a few minutes but that was it. I would do it again for sure. It gave my doctors so much needed information that I feel it was worth it. You will hear so many different experiences with this test, people have different levels of pain tolerence, doctors have different methods etc, but I think the most important thing to remember is this test will provide very good information to your doctors. Try not to stress yourself out about it, it will be over before you know it and you will be glad you have the information.
  • I had one done on my lower back in 05 needless to say it was horifying because the Dr. who done it doesn't put you under sedation for lower backs howeer in Feb 08 I had one done on my neck at Annapolis Maryland and it wasn't bad at all the Dr. put me under heavy sedation the only thing I remember was when I awoke I had a little sore throat.
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  • Wow Guys, what different experiences everyone had. I have to go for a consult with him ont he 15th and I will make sure to ask alot of questions, Ill keep you posted

    Thanks Again!!
  • You guys were lucky to be heavily sedated or have pain meds IV. I was given 2 xanax 15 minutes before the procedure which didn't do too much because I have a high tolerance to medication. Luckily, I took my vicodin with me and I took 2 as soon as I was able to get off the table (which was a task in itself). I didn't realize how different the same test can be given until I read everyone's response. Even though my experience was painful, I would recommend it because it was a good indicator that my disc was bad and the one above it was ok. The ortho was trying to say before that MRI only showed mild disc bulge and I should be responding to treatments better than I was until he seen the results of discogram. They do it under xray and if your disc is ok it will show a little popcorn looking thing in the middle of your disc. If bad, it's a line across your disc.

    Good luck and God Bless.
  • The cervical discogram is riskier so maybe that is why they sedate you. I forgot the worst part of the procedure was being "hog tied". My wrists were tied with the nylon roping going around my feet to the other wrist. They need to stretch the neck for easier access. It was difficult keeping my head in that position due to the neck pain. My 2nd discgram went a little easier because they now use a Velcro type vest that goes over the shoulder to help stretch the neck
  • Hi All,

    I have a very detailed account of my diskogram in 2008 Here: http://mrdjw.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!33B43BC384EEBA!222.entry

    It may be helpful as it goes into great detail about my experience with a diskogram/discogram.

    Please pardon just dropping a link, but I don't have time to transpose the HTML for this site. (it won't let me copy and past and keep the formatting....And I dont' have enough time to pick through CSS code from my other blog)

    My Blog is mainly base on the MAST-TLIF Double Fusion I had less than 4 weeks ago.

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