What is Discography?
Lower back pain is a common problem that is often caused by herniated or deteriorating spinal discs in the lumbar region. When a spinal disc is damaged or deteriorating with age, the soft gel-like substance inside the disc can bulge or seep outside the harder shell. This can cause pressure and inflammation that can affect nerves, causing lower back pain. To find an effective treatment, the disc damage must first be diagnosed and identified. One diagnostic tool used at Medici Spine & Pain for spinal disc damage is discography.
Discography helps identify discs that have tears and may be leaking fluid. To perform discography, a guided injection is placed in the suspected discs in the lumbar back region, as well as other discs that are less likely to have damage. The injection contains a contrast agent that will illuminate the discs when a CT scan is performed. Once the injections are completed, a CT scan can show whether the injected discs have damage. The suspected problem discs can be compared against the “control” disc that is not damaged to identify the problem areas.
Benefits of Discography
To determine the best treatment option to relieve chronic lower back pain, it is necessary to pinpoint the exact source. Spinal discs are a common source of back pain, but it is crucial to determine the exact discs that have damage. Discography is a valuable tool that can show the small tears and leaks that are difficult to view through other types of imaging. It can give our physicians a clearer picture of what treatment plan will best relieve the pain for the patient. This is whether it involves non-invasive or conservative treatments of the spine or endoscopic surgery to repair the disc.
If you have chronic lower back pain and it is suspected that spinal disc damage could be the source, discography may be recommended to identify the damaged discs. Contact our team at Medici Spine & Pain to schedule a consultation if you are experiencing chronic back pain and want to find a treatment plan that will give you relief.