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Discogram?
Oct 22, 2005
has anyone out there ever had a discogram and not had surgery?why? how bad was it?was it worth it?
Re: Discogram?
Oct 22, 2005
I had my discogram and haven't had my surgery yet. (Insurance issues) For me, it was really worth it. My OS was assuming my pain was from the L4-5 area. W/o the Disco, I would have only had the L4-5 area fused, however the Disco. showed that the bulk of my pain was from the L2-4 area.

Good luck and I will keep you in my prayers,

Lorie :angel:
Re: Discogram?
Oct 22, 2005
I also have had a diso and no surgery yet. Like the other poster, I'm having insurance issues as well.
Re: Discogram?
Oct 23, 2005
I had a discogram prior to my fusion. Can't lie to you, if you have a tear in your disc, it is very very painful, but the good news is, it is brief. They can give you some drugs to help you relax, but you have to be awake enough to feel the pain. If no tear, then just feels like pressure. It really is very important for diagnostic purposes, so worth getting it done.
Good luck
Barb
Re: Discogram?
Oct 24, 2005
I've also had a discogram w/o surgery. The test was painfull, I wont lie, but you know probably more scary not knowing what to expect. They will give you a Valium if you ask, I'm sooo glad I had one because I was extremely nervous, I wouldn't want the test w/o it. But I finally got an answer to all my pain, discomfort, numbness, tingling, stabing pain the fact that it came and went. CRAZY! I've been diagnosed with so many different things depending on what dr. I saw @ the time. It only took 6 $*%*@$ years to find, MRI were no help at all. I have a disc that is leaking fluid which only a discogram would detect, anyway doctors don't operate on them, that was good news for me because I didn't want surgery anyway. Through my whole experience w/dr.s over the years I've lost total faith in them unless your ilness is sooo obvious to them they don't have a clue, it's all just a guessing game????????
Good luck Ed276. If anyone else has anymore info on leaky discs I would love to hear from you.
Re: Discogram?
Oct 25, 2005
thank for replys why wont they do surgery on a leaking disc? is it b/c it will heal someday? i hope mines not leaking b/c i cant go 6 years with this like you had to. seems like if it still leaking after 6 years something should be done? how do you cope with it? does exercise help you? but i am looking forward to the discogram b/c i want some answers ?
Re: Discogram?
Oct 25, 2005
Ed- this is off this subject but have you heard anything about your cat scan results?
Tirzah
Re: Discogram?
Oct 25, 2005
no tirzah im getting myelogram w/ct scan on nov 9 and then nov 16 ill have my discogram done you will be the first to know how it turns out im hopeing they find whats going on and can do something about it this weather were having is killing me i cant think of going all winter like this
Re: Discogram?
Oct 25, 2005
When you say leaking disc, are you talking about a tear? If so that is what I had and they did a fusion. I had a annular tear in my L4-5 disc. Just wondering?
Re: Discogram?
Oct 27, 2005
Hello all. I haven't posted in awhile .... but decided to come on and see if there was anything new about Discograms with other people out there. I just had my Discogram the other day (Tuesday). I was so scared to have it done because I have read a lot of horror stories. I think mine went very well. My Surgeon sent me to a place in Maryland with a very good doctor down there. They gave me a drug called: "Versed" so I was kinda knocked out but yet I was awake even though I do not remember a thing. They say it is like having "Amnesia". I do not remember anything at all from the procedure .... no pain, no nothing!! I am very happy so far. I am on Percocet right now from having the procedure done. My pain doesn't seem too much worse than it was before I had the Discogram done. I can tell when the Percocets are wearing off .... like I took one at 2:00 PM today ... and am just now starting to feel a little bit of pain so I will probably wait another hour then take another one before bed. I would say my pain might be one level higher after the Discrogram then what it was before. But I was also told that it was normal to have a flare up of pain for 3-5 days after the procedure.

I have an extra disc in my back ... so I had the Discogram done on my L4-L5, L5-L6 and L6-S1. They rated the pain from 0-2 during the test. My L4-L5 was a 0 (meaning it caused no pain), my L5-L6 was also a 0. But my L6-S1 was a 2. 2 meant excruciating pain ..... now again, I do not remember having the procedure done at all .... but before I left they came and talked to me and gave me the results. Then they will send a more detailed copy to my surgeon. Now, I just have to wait to go back to my surgeon to see what we are gonna do.

We have been talking about the Artifical Disc Replacement surgery ....but he wanted to do the Discogram to see which disc was causing my lower back pain. My L5-L6 has a bulge. But my L6-S1 is pretty much collapsed, so I have to go for a CT Scan so the surgeon can see if he can fit an Artificial Disc into that space first.

I am not sure if I am allowed to say the name of the place where I had my Discogram or the Doctors name ... but I would reccommend them to anyone!! They were great!!! :)

Tifferzz ~
Re: Discogram?
Oct 27, 2005
Im glad it went so well...as well as it could:) My experience was exactly the same. Got to love that versed, huh? I had mine done in northern virginia. I am so curious where you went...but I think you are right about using names. My pain afterwards lasted 2 days. I hope it doesn't last long for you. Let us know the results.

Hugs and prayers,
Lorie :angel:
Re: Discogram?
Oct 27, 2005
Awwww, that's awesome Lori!! It is definitely good to hear that people do have good results from these things!! Like I said ... I was scared to death to have the Discogram done from everything that I have read. I have been having back problems on and off since 2002. I have seen several Neurosurgeons and now I am seeing an Orthopedic Surgeon and I LOVE him!! He is the first surgeon that I have seen .... that did not say anything about surgery the first time I walked into his office. He had me try Physical Therapy first .... did that for almost 3 months .... didn't help much. The Therapist only had me doing 2 exercises because of my collapsed disc and the other problems .... and because forward bending always makes me a lot worse.

Anyway ... then my surgeon wanted me to get the Discogram .... I said NO WAY at first!! Then he talked me into it. He said ... "Trust me, I would only send you to a place that is awesome! He said I would send any one of my family members there to have this done. He said ... out of all the people I have sent down there .... he said NOT ONE patient had come back to him with a bad experience". So, I finally said ok and got it done.

Your are right Lori .... that Versed is awesome!! Although, now I keep wondering if like ... I swore at the doctor during it .... or if I screamed cause it hurt LOL. I have no idea what happened cause I was out of it. It's just weird that they say you are awake.... but you just do not remember anything!! I am sooooo glad that you had a good experience Lori!!! I live in PA. The place I went to was in Annapolis, MD. Hrrrmm, I dunno if I can say the name. I know we cannot mention websites here right?? Although if we have good experiences .... we should be able to offer others the places that we went to right?? I will say the name .... sorry Mods. if I am not allowed ... I just want other people to have good experiences also!! The place I went to is "Anne Arundel Medical Center". I won't say the doctors name unless the Mod says that I can.

But yes .... please if you are going to get a Discogram .... ask for someone good and also ask for a place that uses the Versed. Cause trust me ... you will have the procedure done .... and you will NOT remember anything!! No pain, nothing during it.

My pain has been constant (every single day) since December 2004. It ranges anywhere from a 3-5. If I do a lot .... it may go up to a 6. I would say right now .... after having the procedure, it might be a 5 or 6 right now. But I can walk .... and and up and about. Now I am taking percocet too but I can tell when it is starting to wear off .... and my pain hasn't gotten higher than a 6.

Lori did they rate your Discogram test like they did mine? 0=No Pain, 1=Moderate Pain and 2-Excruciating Pain? My L4-L5 was a 0, my L5-L6 was a 0 but my L6-S1 was a 2.

That's all they told me the other day before I left .... then they said they would send the rest of the films and a more detailed report to my surgeon. I go to him in a few weeks. They gave me 1 copy of the x-ray with the needles sticking into my discs ... kinda freaky seeing it!!


Tifferzz ~ :)
Re: Discogram?
Oct 28, 2005
Hi, I had the exact experience. I called ahead of time to ask if they used the Versed...I had read about it here on the boards...and they said they use it routinely. I would never suggest anyone have this procedure w/o the meds. (Some Drs. simply do not use it...go somewhere else!) :D

I sort of remember yelling at the Dr. on my last disc. (But I am not possitive..it's all a littly fuzzy). I was terrified going in, from all that I had heard. By the time I was on the table, I was crying. The Dr. told the nurse to start the meds ;)

They did not give me a rating ( I wish they had). They told me it was the L2-3 disc that was causing my pain, which was really good to know. And gave me those pictures w/ the needles and a floppy disk to give to my Dr.

It's neat to have others who know what you are talking about, isn't it. This board is wonderful.

Lorie :angel:
Re: Discogram?
Oct 28, 2005
I think it was versed they gave me. Didn't seem to do much, Maybe didn't give enough or I wonder if because I had been on pain med so long I had built up a tolerance for it. Cause when they hit my bad disc I can still vividly remember the pain. Like you I was so nervous I was crying by the time they were moving me over to the table. They wouldn't give me anything to relax me until the doc came in, whiched seemed forever. By the time they gave me something, my anxiety level was so high, that may be why it didn't work as well either.

I go in Monday to do a discogram on my cervical neck, I am so scared, after my back experience. I will make sure it is versed they give me.
Barb
Re: Discogram?
Oct 29, 2005
They may also offer you a versed/fenetyll (sp?) combo...it's just as good. There was a time after my 2nd shot, that I started to realize that I was crying and the Dr. told the nurse to give me a higher dose. If you tell the Dr. up front, that you are really nervous about the pain and the last disco. that you had the pain was almost unbearable...he will probably me more alert to seeing how you are doing, during the procedure. They will always use the least amount of meds. that work. They know you are going to be in some amount of pain, but if you can endure it, they are not going to up the meds and you will have to endure it. So, dont be afraid to let them know that you dont handle pain well. (I actually called prior to my appointment and told them that I was really nervous and having 2nd thoughts..[even though I knew I had no choice but to get it]. I told them that I had such a hard time with my prior ESI's and this was worse. I asked if they use Versed/fenetyl and they did.) When I talked to the Dr. prior to the procedure, I told him just how fearful I was of the pain and he was so gentle and talked me through everything until I was in lala land.

Good luck and keep us posted,

Lorie :angel:
Re: Discogram?
Nov 1, 2005
Hi Everyone,
I am having a discogram next month & have received paperwork from hospital on what to expect during the test. It does not mention any med's. to help with pain. My question about versed is...do you have the bad pain during the test and then forget about it ? I was told that the test is to duplicate my pain so they know exactly what disc is the problem ? How does the doctor get a pain level if I'm drugged? I'm so afraid of more pain, I'm tired.

Thanks
Re: Discogram?
Nov 1, 2005
My Anesthisialogis (sp?) described it to me like this. You will feel the pain...but then you forget that you feel it. He said it was a short lived amnesia. He said I might yell at him...but I would not remember doing so. He also said that I needed to be aware that the amnesia affect could last much of the day, so if someone told me something later that day...I might not remember it and we laughed at that.

Now, some places (but I thing just a few) do not offer it, so call and ask ahead of time. That way, you have time to find a different place...if that is an option. When you call, ask to speak to a nurse...don't ask the receptionist. They do not always know that there are a no. of meds you can take and still be awake. When I first called the hospital..the receptionist said "you can't be sedated for this...they need to know what you are feeling". I explained that I had heard of versed that could be given and she put me to the nurse who said they use it routinely and the receptionist wouldn't have known that.

Also, at the beginning, they gave me the smallest dose that they use. If I hadn't started to cry (before they every did anything:),) they would have kept it at the lower dose and I don't know how I would have been. But they knew how afraid I was and once I started to cry...they upped the dose and I do not remember anything after that.

I got the results that showed exactly where my pain was comming from, so I guess I was able to acknowledge the pain :) .

Good luck and keep us updated,
Lorie :angel:
Re: Discogram?
Nov 1, 2005
Lorie,
Thank you! I hope I don't swear, I guess if people look at me funny afterward.....I'll know that I wasn't very nice. Thanks again.
Re: Discogram?
Nov 1, 2005
Im sure they have heard it all:) I wouldn't worry about it. I am sure they wont think badly of anything you say.

Good luck,
Lorie :angel:





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