A lot of times a patient will be experiencing tremendous back pain. They get an x-ray and it does not show anything except for no broken bones. And then they get an MRI, and that does not explain why they are in so much pain either. In those cases, frequently the doctor will ask the patient to go get whats called a discogram. A discogram is a procedure where the doctor will inject dye directly into the disc. It's the kind of dye designed to show up on diagnostic cameras. It will be able to diagnose exactly whats wrong with the disc.
Frequently, it will identify what is known as an anular tear in the disc. An anular tear is when the disc is not bulging out, but rather, is torn so that the contents inside the disc are leaking out near the spinal column and other nerves. These fluids that come out of the disc are filled with enzymes that irritate and damage the nerves. The discogram provides objective, scientific proof of what is going on with a patient who is experiencing significant pain but is not showing anything on their MRI. It also gives the doctor the information that he or she needs to do treatments that will repair the tear in the disc, such as a procedure where they inject cement into the disc that will plug up or cure the tear without having to do something much more invasive like a fusion or an open back surgury.
If you have any questions about a discogram, you should give us a call or contact us online. We have a lot of experience with patients who have undergone this procedure and can tell you what to expect and explain to you how the results of the discogram can impact your case.