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AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:29 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
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  • 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...

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  • 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.
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