23 Jun Lumbar Discogram Test with Pain Management Doctors In San Antonio Tx
What is Lumbar Discogram?
Lumbar Discogram is a unique spinal test that indicates if the disc is the source of neck pain or lower back pain. The discogram test focuses on the disc to determine if it is reproducing pain. Back pain from the disc is mainly caused by aggravation of pain receptors that occurs in the torn annulus or compression of a degenerative bony vertebral endplate. Such a test is designed to stress these structures and reproduce the pain for a moment. Also, the test has great value in finding out the morphology of the disc.
Lumbar Discogram Procedure
During Discogram procedure, preparation is key. If you agree to perform this procedure, an intravenous line is started just in case intra-procedural medications become necessary. In most cases, sedation is avoided so as not to interfere with any reactions or sensations that may happen. Next, the patient is placed on a specialized table where the fluoroscopic (x-ray) unit is positioned. The patient’s back is then marked with an ink pen on the disc spaces which are to be examined. The back is then cleansed thoroughly, and sterile drapes applied. During this process, the fluoroscope will be sterilely draped, and the discographer (the pain management doctors San Antonio offers to perform the Discogram procedure) should be in a sterile surgical gown.
Administering Local Anesthesia
The main aim here is to anesthetize a main tissue that extends from the skin to the disc surface. Once these tissues are numbed, a needle is directed towards the disc to touch the outer surface of the annulus (outer margin of the disc). The process is not painful but at times it may be. It takes less than an hour to perform. In some cases, you will have soreness from the needle punctures that may last for several days. In such incidences, you may use ibuprofen, acetaminophen or use an ice pack for a few minutes to ease the soreness. Some pain management doctors in San Antonio TX also prescribe short-term narcotic pain reliever medications to be used after the procedure.
Pressurizing the Discs
This is the diagnostic portion of the Discogram Procedure. The disc are pressurized one at a time. Pressurization involves injecting small amounts of sterile liquid such as x-ray dye into the center of the disc. This is the most essential part of the procedure, therefore much concentration must be put in what you are feeling.
You can either feel nothing, feel pressure or feel pain. If you feel pain from the injection, the pain is either familiar pain or unfamiliar pain. Once each level is fully pressurized, pictures are take using fluoroscopic unit and the needles are removed. The procedure takes less than an hour with some traces of needle punctures that lasts for several days.
What are the Risks of Lumbar Discogram?
Just like any other procedure, there are associated risks and complications. They include;
- Infection of the disc space which can be difficult to defeat.
- Spinal headache may occur but in rare cases
- There are remote possibilities of nerve root injury.
However, with a skilled and experienced physician with the help of modern discography techniques, these risks are rare. Overall, a lumbar discogram is a study designed to determine if an intervertebral disc is a pain generator.