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susan hamerssusan hamer Posts: 3
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:46 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am new to this and about to have a discogram in 3 days time. I am so worried. I find it lessens my anxiety levels the more i understand from people who have undergone the procedure before me. From a to b and everything inbetween.
Please help


  • Hi There,
    I can understand your anxiety. After I had read several people on the message boards, and how they reacted to the procedure, I was a basket case by the time I had it. I went in early in the morning. They started an I.V. while I was sitting in a chair, then took me to the procedure room where they had me lay down. I had an awful time trying to lay on my back, but soon the nurse told me I wouldn't be feeling any pain, and that was true. I remember becoming totally relaxed and even thought I was asleep. Next thing I remember was being in the CT scan. Then I was back in the room and they were giving me something to drink. During the procedure I remember that I thought I could here someone yelling out in pain, and I thought it was someone else far away, but it was actually me when they hit certain discs. But right away they gave me something for the pain before they went on to the next disc. I'm so glad I had it, because it shows so much more than an MRI. I did have surgery 4 weeks ago with a double fusion on my lower back
    I had a great doctor who explained everything to me before the discogram.
  • as well sedated for my discogram. I remember yelling, and I remember that it was me feeling pain that caused me to yell. I then had to get a ride across town to the CT scan. It was a drag, but it was over fairly quickly and I'm glad I had it. I really revealed the extent of the damage to my spine.
    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
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  • I also do better with the truth, no sugar-coating.

    My discogram was last summer. I have very tiny veins and it took over an hour to get the IV in. Finally they placed it in my foot! But thats me, not the norm.

    It seems there are quite a few variations in the sedation part: I've read being completely out to not given any sadation. Mine was in the middle: I was sedated then brought awake right at the time of the injections. For a very short time I was in incredible pain, but then was given a shot of pain killer in the discs.

    Be prepared for possibly more pain at the injection sites after the test. The surgeon gave me stronger meds, I was in worse pain for about 8 days or so.

    So thats my experience. I had to go through this test to proove to my Insurance Co. that I needed another fusion. My Dr. already knew what was wrong with my spine, such a waste of money. From reading others posts here: the discogram was the one test that finally showed their spine problem.

    Good luck,

  • I think you should go into the procedure expecting some intense but temporary pain while they test various disks, but you should rest assured that they will try to make you comfortable before you leave the office.

    Since the purpose of the test is to try to precisely replicate your pain (that would be a "Positive" result indicating that you do have disk pain), I would think that you need to be coherent for the test. My experience with healthy disks is that you only feel a sensation of pressure, but no pain. If you truly have a disk that is causing you pain, it's gonna hurt a lot during the time that they pressurize it. As someone else mentioned, they do give you medicine afterwards to relieve the pain.

    I'm not an expert on this, but I did have this done by a very reputable Anesthesiologist. I think his approach is considered "normal" from what I have read. If someone knows a way to do this reliably while you are sedated, GO FOR IT!!! :)

    Best wishes.

  • Yep, I had two of them.
    Luckily, I was administered I.V. sedation and brought out of the sleep only briefly to give feedback. I vaguely remember that part.
    After the procedure I did have a bunch of pain but had been given some vicodins.

    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
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  • and not every one experiences the level of pain someone else may or may not have. Also, doctors are different. My doctor tries to keep you relatively pain free, but needs to hear some kind of reaction when he finds the worse off discs, but right away gives you something for the pain before he goes on to the next level. My Dr. is a pain management doctor, so he does these all the time. I went to him because I knew 3 other people who went there.
  • Hello there, I didn't see your post until just now; by now you should have had that discogram---How did it turn out?

    I had one 17 months ago and re-created the pain I was having, so my results were positive for 2 torn and leaking lumbar discs. It didn't hurt any worse than I was already hurting though.

    Just wanted to see how you are! And I hope it wasn't too bad for you.
  • Thanks everyone for your honest replies.

    In theatre last minute change of plan . I underwent 2 lumbar factor joint injections steroidal and 2 sacroiliac joint injections steroidal.

    During the procedure the upper left injection felt definitively different during and immediately after. 10 times more painful ( and this was my good side) !!!!

    4 weeks on the injections have helped on the right side, but I am in continous agony on the left side , gone from one crutch to using two , pain down left leg pins and needles, intense sudden sharp pains within the pelvis on the left side which results in screaming and my leg giving way u derneath me.

    I know this is not normal, any ideas what it could be ? It's driving me nuts. I briefly saw my specialist who jas relished me to do all 4 injections again in the next couple of weeks , but that doesn't answer my question why my bad Side is now my good side and my good side (left) is now my horrendous bad side.

    Please talk to me I am going insane with the the pain and copious amounts of morphine, MST. Oromorph , Diazepam ,diclofenac amitryptyline. Feel like a junky and 2 years ago I was slalom ski ing and mountain bike riding , very sociable and now I'm a Hermit with low self esteem and a desire for the crippling pain so STOP.

    Lost as to my next plan of action

    Please help and talk to me


  • When they did the injections did they use a fluoroscope? Can you by chance make an appointment with your PCP and discuss this with him since your PM doc is apparently not too terribly concerned? Even just getting an explanation as to why this could have effected your normally good side so dramatically, would be a start.

    Keep us posted,

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