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Discography - Diagnosing Low Back Pain

Discography or a discogram, is a diagnostic procedure performed to confirm or rule out an intervertebral disc as the source of a person's low back pain or neck pain for that matter.  After local anesthetic is applied, a needle injects fluid into the disc between the vertebrae, the resulting pressure may cause pain in a damaged disc.  Next, dye is injected into the discs and a special x-ray called a CT scan takes a picture of the disc, identifying the damage in the disc by where the dye leaks to.  In a damaged disc, the dye may leak into fissures called annular tears.  Discogram results by themselves do not normally determine a surgical decision.  A discogram study is another piece of evidence, along with MRI results, x-rays, and clinical findings, that help the surgeon and the patient decide on surgery for back pain.

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