Specializing in minimally invasive spine surgery (407) 960-1717

Provacative Discography

Discography (discogram) is a procedure used to help determine the source of back pain. This procedure can be performed in either the cervical (neck), thoracic (mid-back), or lumber (low back) spine. This is a needle-based procedure, which allows the doctor to confirm or eliminate the disc as the main contribution of neck or back pain.

The Intervertebral DISCS are the focus of this procedure. Discs are located between the vertebrae (bones) of the spine. They are composed of a gel like substance surrounded by a fibrous band. The discs act as a cushion or shock absorber of the spine and provide spinal stability and aid with movement. Nerve endings exist in the disc, and if irritated can cause pain. Conditions that may cause “discogenic” pain include normal aging (wear and tear), loss of disc height, tears, bulges and herniation’s. These conditions may cause neck or back pain, and even limited radiation of pain into the arms or legs.

Candidates for a discogram include patients with neck or back pain that has not responded to therapy, medications, or even injections. These patients often describe aching, deep midline back pain with or without radiation to the buttocks or thighs. Symptoms may start off gradual and are often made worse with bending, and prolonged sitting or standing.

The benefits of undergoing a discogram include identifying the disc level that is causing the pain. The risks can include temporary worsening of back pain, infection and bleeding.

Discography is an outpatient procedure performed in a clean sterile room. The patient is lightly sedated and the area of concern is cleaned and numbed. A small needle is advanced into the disc with the use of a fluoroscope (camera). Once the needle or needles are in the final position, testing begins. A small amount of contrast (dye) is injected into the suspected discs and the patient is questioned about their symptoms. Specifically, we are trying to reproduce their pain thus confirming or eliminating the discs as the source of their back pain. Once the painful disc is identified, a targeted treatment plan is implemented.

How Do I Know if I have Provacative Discography

Take the Next Step

What is the Right Treatment for Me?

Recommend a Treatment