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Procedure Prep - Discogram

How should I prepare for my procedure?

If your previous imaging was not done at one of our locations, you may be asked to contact your former provider and request that your film be sent to us for a comparison study.

  • If you have an active infection and are taking antibiotics, the medication course must be complete prior to the procedure.
  • If you are taking blood thinners (Coumadin, Plavix or Ticlid), you will have to hold the medication prior to the procedure. Contact your healthcare provider before stopping any medication to determine if it is safe for you.
  • Bring someone to drive you home after the procedure.
  • Inform us if you are or may be pregnant, or have allergies to medications or x-ray dye (contrast).
  • Arrive 15 minutes early to complete registration.
  • Bring your insurance card and a valid photo ID.
  • Clear liquid diet 3 hours prior to the procedure.


How long will my procedure take?

A discogram will take approximately one hour.


What happens during my procedure?

You will be positioned on your stomach on an x-ray table. The area to be injected will be cleansed with an antiseptic solution. Local anesthetic will be used to numb the area.

Fluoroscopy (a type of low-dose x-ray) is used to clearly view the area in real time, on a video monitor. This ensures exact placement of the needle during the procedure. After the needle is placed, contrast material is injected into the disc space to try to reproduce your pain. After each injection into the individual disc spaces you will be asked a few questions about the pain you experienced.


What happens after my procedure?

A summary of the procedure and findings will be sent to your healthcare provider.

You may resume your normal diet and prescribed medications.

Rest for the remainder of the day. Avoid heavy lifting or strenuous activity for 24 hours after the procedure.