Discogram Questions

It's been awhile since I posted. I had an L4-5 fusion in March and just had my ACL repaired in July. I'm really struggling with the back pain. It's different than it was before the fusion and lower. My post fusion MRI shows that the fusion looks great but the L5-S1 level is not looking so hot. My surgeon considered fusing that last spring but opted to do a one level. He wanted to do as little as possible because of my age (early 30's). He hoped the L5-S1 would be okay for some time to come. 

Now tomorrow I am having a discogram. If it is positive then we seriously talk fusing the L5-S1. I don't know why I am so nervous about this test tomorrow. I've had three back surgeries, knee surgery, my nose repaired after breaking it and my appendix removed all in less than two years. What can I expect during the discogram? I'll be sedated for part of it. Does the pain linger after, or does it got back to the baseline pain pretty quick?



  • I have never had this procedure, but go to the search box at the top right of your screen, type in discogram, scroll past the ads and there are several really good articles on the subject.


  • Hi PearTree

    It is probably too late for advice now but when I had my Discogram done there was some pain similar to my usual back pain. And my back was a little sore afterwards for a day or two.  Not bad though.  Everybody is so different it is hard to say how your pain level will be.

    Good luck with your procedure and let us know how things go!    

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  • Well I had it done and I am confused on what this all means now. I see my surgeon tomorrow to go over it. I did not feel an increase in pain so it was technically negative. The doctor told me he was unable to pressurize the disc which is needed to get a positive results. We found out I have a large tear so everything he injected came right back out. 

    I did have a major increase in leg pain after and my regular back pain has intensified a lot.

  • It’s weird that you didn’t have a major increase in leg pain until after the procedure. Make sure to tell the surgeon everything you told us.

  • I thought so too. I was heavily sedated and completely put under for a bit so a lot of it is very foggy. I just remember being told it was negative but it wasnt a clear result because they couldn't get pressure to build since the tear was so large. 

    When I was getting ready to leave I fell into the curtain because my leg and foot were so numb. The nurse had to move quick to grab me before I went all the way down. I was not expecting that when I stood up. She said I must have been sitting weird but I know that wasn't it. I have been dealing with nerve and back issues for long enough to know this wasn't from a foot or leg that fell asleep. 

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