Discography is a procedure which helps determine if the discs in your spine are responsible for your back pain. The discs lie in between each pair of vertebrae and provide cushioning for your spine. Sometimes discography is ordered before surgery to identify which particular discs are painful.
Prior to the procedure, an IV will be started and you will be given medications to help prevent infection and to help you relax. Medication is also used to numb the area to be tested, and the site will be thoroughly cleansed. The doctor will inject contrast dye into one or more discs with a needle. When the dye reaches the disc that is causing your problems, you will feel pain. Following the injection of the dye, a CT scan will be taken that will reveal any changes in the size or shape of the disc. Your muscles may be painful following the procedure. Your physician can give you medications to help with this discomfort.
There are no special preparations needed for this procedure but do not take any anti-inflammatory medications or pain relievers on the day of the test.