Discogram Specialist

Wisconsin Spine and Pain

Pain Management serving Waukesha, Green Bay, Sheboygan, West Bend, and Greenfield, WI

When it comes to getting relief from your back pain, it’s essential to know the cause. A discogram is an imaging test that helps the board-certified physicians at Wisconsin Spine and Pain determine if an abnormal disc is the underlying cause of your back pain. To schedule a consultation at the state-of-the-art practice today, call the office in Waukesha, West Bend, Sheboygan, Green Bay, or Greenfield, Wisconsin, or book an appointment online today.

Discogram Q&A

What is a discogram?

A discogram is an imaging test used to determine the underlying cause of your back pain. The imaging test helps find abnormal discs in your spine, which is a common cause of back pain.

Spinal discs are sponge-like cushions that separate each vertebral bone in your spine. Damage to these discs may affect the normal structure and function of your spine, causing back pain. They may also compress or irritate your spinal cord or spinal nerve.

With a discogram, the Wisconsin Spine and Pain team confirms or rules out an abnormal disc as the source of your back pain, which helps direct your treatment plan.

Who needs a discogram?

The discogram is an invasive diagnostic test. The Wisconsin Spine and Pain team only performs the test when back pain patients fail to get relief from their symptoms with non-surgical treatments, such as medication and physical therapy. 

You may also need a discogram if the team plans to perform a spinal fusion to alleviate your back pain. The discogram helps your spine surgeon determine what discs they need to remove during your surgery. 

What happens during a discogram?

Your provider at Wisconsin Spine and Pain reviews what you can expect during your discogram at your back pain evaluation. Though the test itself only takes about 30-60 minutes, you may be at the clinic for a few hours.

Before the test, your provider administers a sedative to help you relax. Then, they inject a contrast dye into the center of one or more of the discs suspected of causing your pain.

They capture images of the discs and the movement of the dye using an X-ray or CT scan. If the stain remains in the center of the disc, then the disc may not be the reason for your pain. However, if the dye moves into the exterior of the disc, your disc may be damaged.

What happens after a discogram?

The Wisconsin Spine and Pain team has you remain at the office for up to 60 minutes following your discogram before sending you home. You need to arrange to have someone drive you home after the test.

You may feel some pain at the injection site, but these side effects should resolve within a few hours. 

When back pain fails to resolve with conservative care, you may benefit from additional diagnostic tests like a discogram. Call Wisconsin Spine and Pain or schedule a consultation online today.