Discography – Not Just A Collection Of Musical Recordings

Category: Spine Surgery | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: June 8, 2020

Trapped Spinal Nerves

You may be familiar with the term discography as it pertains to the music industry, but it’s also a term for a medical procedure that can help doctors figure out what’s going on in your spine. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at what happens during a discography and how it can be a beneficial diagnostic tool for patients and providers.

What Is A Discography?

A discography is a diagnostic procedure that allows the surgeon to determine which spinal discs are causing the pain in your spine. The procedure involves injecting x-ray dye into the spinal disc under gentle pressure. Discomfort during the injection can help determine that the disc is part of the problem, and then the x-ray dye allows the doctor to take a detailed image of the damaged disc. The image taken is called a discogram, and it can help the surgeon see fissures or tears in the lining of the spinal disc.

In most cases, an MRI is ordered prior to a discography so that your spine surgeon can narrow down the potential problemed discs. Once they have a few that they want to test with a discography, they’ll inject a local anesthetic and move forward with the procedure. Normal discs may produce a small amount of discomfort and a pressure-like sensation when the discography is being performed, and pain might be more noticeable when the doctor moves to the damaged disc. Discomfort is very short term, because once the source of the pain has been uncovered, the doctor will take the x-ray and use all the information to make their diagnosis and treatment recommendation.

Discography Procedure

A discography can be performed in about a half an hour, but the procedure may take a little longer if more discs are being tested. The procedure carries minimal risks, but it’s important to remember that it is diagnostic in nature, and the goal is to figure out what’s wrong and how to best treat it, so you’re not going to experience pain relief like you would with a treatment procedure. That being said, it can be a very useful tool in determining exactly what’s going on inside your spinal disc and how to best treat the problem.

Treating the damaged disc will depend on what the surgeon sees during their discography and subsequent imaging tests. Armed with the knowledge of the specific location of the problem, you may not need anything more than a few sessions with a physical therapist and a couple of painkillers. For other patients, they may now know that a minimally invasive procedure can remove the damaged disc and provide them with much desired pain relief. And best of all, thanks to the discography, they will have peace of mind knowing that the damaged disc will be the one operated on, and they can have a higher degree of confidence that the operation will fix their issue.

So if you are interested in getting to the bottom of your spine pain and you’re wondering if a discography might be just the diagnostic tool you’re looking for, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi and his experienced medical team today.

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