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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

Apr 3, 2007
I'm getting a discogram in 8 hours and i'm so nervous I can't sleep.
Has anyone had one who would be willing to share their experience with me?
I've researched it a lot and can't determine how horrible this will be. :confused:
I would appriciate any words of advice or experience!
Re: Discogram
Apr 3, 2007
Now times have changed and I don't know if they still do them the same way, but this is what happened to me. I had to fly down to a major city to have it done. I was put into one of those gowns that really hide nothing if you can't move too good to tie things up. But that didn't matter as they soon untied them anyway. I had to get into a fetal position, well as good as I could do. Then with me they place two hair like needles into my back. One needle was aimed at the site where all my trouble was happening and the other one was the level above. When they pushed the needle into the one where all was okay, all I felt was a slight tingling like pins and needles (no pun intended there). But boy oh boy when they pushed it into the one that was the problem. My legs kicked out and I squeezed the nurses hand so hard that I thought I had crushed a couple of bone in her hand. I said sorry to her even while I was in so much pain. The nurse said that what I had done was exactlly what they were looking for. It was proof beyond doubt that I had a major problem there. It was one of the most barbarick things I have ever had done to me and I remember it like it was yesterday but it was back in 92. Well that happened at 8.30am and every 4 hour after in got back to the ward I was given an injection of pain relief. I when home the next morning after only about an hour sleep throught the pain and injections. I arrived home at 3 pm and my wife could clearly see that I was sore, so she took me to our doctors and he gave me a big dose of pethadine. That worked so well that by the time we got home my wife had to get a neighbour to help get me out of the car and inside. So it was for me a very painful thing to go through. But they said this is still (at that time) the best way to find out if you are telling the truth about your back or if you are lying about it all. I really don't want to scare you but this is true and I hope that they have modified the way that they do it now. So with best wished and hopefully not too much pain. The Tattman :wave:
PS: I have had 3 operations to the same place now so it proved to be right.
Re: Discogram
Apr 4, 2007
Personally, I have not had a discogram but thought I would respond to ya anyway. There appears to be two methods to determine what level is the cause of the problem. The discogram and the selective nerve block. The discogram from what I have read is extremely painful but well worth its weight in gold. I believe JUSTONEOFUS had this done and the vertebrae level they thought was the culprit of the pain was not the correct one. It was another level entirely. Now imagine going thru MAJOR surgery, 6 to 12 months of recovery and to be no better than you were before. So I would think the temporary increase in pain that you experience is definitey worth every bit of it. Remember that they can medicate you afterwards and control your pain.

With the discogram they can test multiple disc levels on the same day.

In my case, they did a selective nerve block and they are only able to test single levels on the same day. You can't do multiple levels on the same day. The day of the procedure I had to be in pain -- not a problem at the time I had lived with the same pain for over 3 years day after day -- and they injected meds into the suspected problem level and into the particular nerve root. I was lightly sedated. At the end of the procedure, they ask if you have pain or not. I had no pain so we knew which disc was the culprit. It was a day of bliss, I had no pain for 4 or so hours and then my normal pain returned. Rather painless test.

Now if I knew what I knew now, I would probably have pushed to have the discogram instead because of the simple fact multiple disc levels can be tested in one day and it can give you alot more information. In my case, we tested only one level and so far it looks like I will be okay. However, what if I had more than one level causing the pain. Wouldn't it stink to go thru surger to find out that you still have a problem.??

Remember the pain will be temporary and provide your doctor with some very valuable information. Good luck and please keep us posted how things went.
Re: Discogram
Apr 6, 2007
Thanks for the replies! :)
Re: Discogram
Apr 18, 2007
Hello! I had my discogramm done too before the my surgery. Before this test they were not sure if they can cure my problem without the surgery. But the minute they finished - i was told that i must have surgery and no other ways i can go.
It was a very painful procedure, and it was pretty long with me, i thought he never stops pooking with that needle. But i was prepared for that, my D-r told me before the procedure that it will be not a pleasunt one.
I hope everything went well with you. Good luck
Re: Discogram
Apr 19, 2007
Can you tell me how this went? I saw my doctor yesterday and they ordered one. I am waiting for insurance approval, so I don't know when it will be yet. They are testing 3 discs, 1 "control" and the other 2 that show herniations on my MRI. I am more than a little nervous. Did you miss any time from work, or are you off as a result of your injury?
Re: Discogram
Apr 19, 2007
The discogram is not a fun test at all. But it was the only test that proved to pinpoint the source of my pain for 3+ years. None of my doctors or MRIs showed a disc that was badly blown and basically empty. It was just the exoskeleton (outer shell) holding itself up, which was amazing it had not already collapsed.

It's painful, particularly if you are not sedated. I was not given anything. They only needed to test two levels on me. If a disc is in good shape, it will not generate any pain. If a disc is positive you will know it.

They will not tell you they are doing a disc or which one.. that is part of the test.. to see if you react and where, with you explaining exactly what you feel or do not.

It's normal to be nervous, but just remember it's worth a little extra pain to find the source and possibly rid of it.

I was off work for a day if I remember correctly, then back to work. I have a desk job and caring boss, so I could work and take it easy as well. Good luck and let us know how it goes for you.

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