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Back Problems Message Board

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I started this thread for you, so that we could address your question directly and not to take away from the other posters issue.

No, A discogram can not be compared to an epidural. And the pain level is not even close, for me anyway. An epidural is a tickle compared to the discogram pain I endured. But again, mine was done commando.. raw and unmedicated through the whole thing.

I think you were asking why a discogram would be needed if you have an MRI with diagnosis? Well not everyone needs a discogram, but it is highly recommended to have one prior to surgery being done just to make sure the MRI diagnosis is concurred with via discogram or other tests.

I have had many MRI's. I have a bulging disc at L5/S1. for the last 3 years.. all the surgeons thought that was the source of my sciatica and back pain. Well when the discogram was done.. we all got a BIG surprise. They tried to inflict pain on the bulging disc and I never once reacted. BUT.. then they injected dye into the one above L4/L5.. and my leg flew off the table and it caused horrific pain. The same pain I had been having only 100X worse! This is a normal test expectation if pain is to be present.

So MRI's dont tell the whole tale, and my back is one proof of that. There are tons of other stories similiar in nature to mine.. that back this up.

I hope this helps. Take care. Tammy:wave:
just wanted to add that discograms are considered the "gold standard" to find out the true cause of the pain. as Justoneofus said, MRIs dont always show the true cause of the pain.
Hey folks , hope your having a good weekend . Is a myelogram basically the same thing as a discogram ? I don't think I ever had one of them .

Have a great day :)
Thank you for your reply and I don't know what my future holds for me at this time as I am still in the eval portion of my back injury. I was discharged from PT and conservative follow up and referred to a surgeon. I had a MRI which showed L-3 S-4 a concentric annular bulge with tear and, L-4 S-5 mild DDD, and concentric annular bugle with tear and, finally L-5 S-1 advanced DDD, stenosis, spondylosis with bilateral foraminal stenosis, early ankylosis, osteophyte formation of the vertebral endplates, facet syndrome and, osteoarthritis.

SOOOOO...It appears that everything has been narrowed down to where my pain is coming from but I was trying to educate myself and the MRI may be missing something. The discogram has been described as being painful, and I do have a high tolerance to pain, as with you I went through many injections with out a pain stimulant but I was just wondering how the procedure worked and if it was a good procedure to assist the neurosurgeon as no mater what he wants to do I want him to do it so that he can stop the pain I am experiencing!! My family knows how much pain I can tolerate (no, not bragging/fact) and they have never seen me crying let along cry (I've done allot of that) because of the pain.
I really appreciate the assistance and hope this doesn't come off as a negative to your post.
Thanks and write again!
Have any of you experienced a facet injection to relieve pain? My pain management doctor wants to do a injection to both sides of my back.
Thanks for any info.
wanttowork , I have . There not to bad , I had like 5 on one side and 6 on the other ,the needles are hair like thin and they didn't bother me like the epidurals . They didn't work for me ,but I have read other's benefit from them. After I told them they didn't work they wanted to burn my nerve , I said later quak.
Wanttowork.. My goodness.. I am not offended in the slightest by your post. You are simply stating "what is" for you.

I think when you see the neuro.. you will know better where to go from here. The discogram can indeed further pinpoint where your pain may be eminating from. While the MRI shows probs with those disc areas.. they may not be causing you pain under pressure or with injection of the dye. Then all of them may cause you pain. Thus the need for the test.

I have not personally had a facet injection to date. I have heard that can also be a diangostic treatment was well as a relief one if it gives the person that.

I am a tough cookie myself, and I think most of us on this board fit this category even if they didnt previously. You get "used" to the pain so to speak.. that you build a tolerance to it over time.

Please.. let us know how you are doing, what the neuro suggests for you and what you decide to do. Hang in there guy! Take care. Tammy:wave:
Justoneofus and Shawley,

:cool: Thank you both for the information. Its wonderful having the resources to research an up coming procedure rather than listen to word of mouth, especially if it is negative and gives you doubts about a procedure prior to it!
I'll keep you in touch of what happens with me.
Amen to that. Good Luck on your test. :)


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