Discography is an infrequently utilized diagnostic procedure performed to determine if and which spinal discs are the cause of pain. This test is performed using fluoroscopic guidance, and contrast is injected into each of the discs to be studied while the patient is awake and communicating. At the time of disc injection, it is determined if the patient’s pain is reproduced in an identical fashion and if tears (tears of the disc outer ring or annulus) are observed within each injected disc.
Discography has remained a controversial diagnostic tool at least in large part due to a lack of proven approaches which might then subsequently successfully treat the painful disc either through surgical (fusion, disc replacement) or non surgical (percutaneous / injection type intradiscal therapies) techniques. For more information on discography and the patient’s experience, please visit this useful link.