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A discogram is an imaging test used to evaluate back pain either prior to surgery or when other conservative treatments have failed to identify the specific area causing pain. During the discogram, dye is injected into the soft center of your disks (the areas between your vertebrae) to visualize areas of wear and tear or cracks in the disks and possibly reproduce your back pain.

Before the procedure
  • You will be asked to hold aspirin and other blood thinning medications. Clearance may be required from your physician.
  • Food and drink restrictions will be implemented.
  • Anxiety reducing medication may be prescribed and sent to your preferred pharmacy with instructions given for taking the day of the procedure.
  • You will be asked to have a driver available to get you home safely post procedure.
What to expect
  • You will first be taken to the pre-procedure area where we will take your vital signs, have you sign the consent form, and answer questions about the procedure.
  • An IV will be started and you will be given IV antibiotics to reduce the risk of any infection post procedure.
  • Once in the procedure area, your skin will be cleaned with antibacterial soap and medications will be prepared.
  • The procedure typically takes about 30 minutes
  • It will be carried out using x-ray guidance.
  • Your vital signs will be monitored and staff will walk you through all aspects of the procedure as they are happening.
  • You will be allowed to leave 10-30 minutes post procedure or as determined safe by staff.
After the procedure
  • You will be given written discharge instructions to refer to post procedure
  • You may have increased back discomfort for a couple of days afterward.
  • Ice and medications previously used for pain may be used immediately and for the next few days as needed.
  • Follow up with your referring provider to discuss your response to the procedure and recommended treatment plan.