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Discogram on 12/3/08

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,008
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:24 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Well, I just came back from my doctors appointment, and I am going to have the discogram on Dec. 3rd. Wish me luck, that it goes well, and it tells them something about the source of my pain. I will then have a consult with a surgeon on Dec. 15th.

I've been in constant pain for nearly 2 years now. I've tried as many conservative treatments as I could stand, but have gotten to the point where I need something to change.

I've been on Oxycodone-APAP 5/325 x 4, and while it helped reduce my pain at first, it doesn't seem to be doing so now. Instead of increasing the dose, she wants me to try Opana (Oxymorphone), which is a longer acting drug and I would only have to take it once or twice a day. It's expensive though, we'll see how I feel about it after trying it this weekend. If it's worth the cost, then so be it.

I've read a lot of posts here, and information on discograms in the treatment sections of SH, so I know what to expect. It's a little scary, but since it is not for a while, I'm not really thinking about that right now. I am just glad that I am now back on a track of action, and making some progress (not that I wasn't before, just not as clear cut). I hope that I don't get too worried, the closer it gets.


  • Hope everything goes well for you. Also hope opana works for you. Did he give btp meds just in case? Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • She didn't give me any btp meds. But my pain is constant all day long, though it gets worse throughout the day.

    I've been taking the oxycodone at four timepoints spread throughout my waking hours. 6:00 am, 11:30 am, 4:45 pm and 10:00 pm. So even though I take it throughout the day, my pain still increases during the day. I think her thinking was to try and give me a longer acting med, instead of short acting (which is what the oxycodone is), to keep it more evenly in my system.

    I don't know, I can only give it a try and see if it works. But a 30 day supply of the oxycodone is only $10 with my insurance, and I don't think that would change if the dose increases. The Opana cost me $50 for only 15 day supply (though I am hoping it will be the same cost for anything up to a 30 day supply - I've seen that before, a 20 day supply costs the same as a 30 day supply).

    If it turns out to be way too expensive, then I will ask about trying a higher dose of the oxycodone. In fact tonight she said I could take a double dose, so I'll see if it makes a difference in my pain. But then I am supposed to try the Opana starting tomorrow morning. I've had some bad side effects to some other pain meds, and I'm just nervous about possibly being sick and not able to do anything, if that happens.
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  • Hi! I too am going to have a discogram. The date is not set yet. I just found out a couple hours ago. I am so nervous. :O I just had a CT Myleogramn 3 weeks ago and that was the worse thing that I ever went through. I wouldn't be nervous if they put me out, but we have to be awake! (Like the CT Myleogram!) I had a back fusion a year and a half ago, and the pain is getting worse. This is to further find out what is going on. Let me know how it goes!
  • I have a call into my doctor today, because well first off I need adjustment of my pain meds.

    But I also want to ask about pain meds before and after the discogram, and to ask about anesthesia during. I'm hoping I won't remember the pain afterwards (though I know better than to hope for no pain during - that's the whole point isn't it?).
  • Hi Treefrog!

    Good luck with your tests.Don't worry too much, they will give you adequate relief once they have poked you around.
    I was suitably sedated and can't remember a thing, lovely!

    Regards you other mediaction regime, have you tried adding in paracetamol / acetaminophen up to 4x day?

    Obviously with your doctors advice but this medication potentiates the effects of the oxycodone with out increasing side effects. Really works for me. Check it out there are lots of papers that discuss it use or its under use in pain managemnt!
    I sussed it when after my surgery it was the IV version taht really seemed to help me and I never understood why, when I was using a PCA which I thought was rubbish!!

    Good Luck
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  • Hi! I just wanted to let you know I had a discogram in Sept. I had to go out of town for this procedure. Since I am single I had to spend that evening in a hotel. I was informed it was not the most pleasant procedure. I arrived at the hospital at 7 am and had the test done at 9. They were very good and I was sedated but was still with it. I myself did not find it that painful as I explained to the doc that I thought it was a piece of cake compared to pain that I experience reguarly. After the test I was brought to a day bed where I slept for about 4 hours. I felt good and even went to get some munchies to go back to my hotel. I was really tired though and fell asleep at around 8pm. The next morning (the day I am to drive home apprx. 3 hrs.) I woke up in extreme pain. Did not expect that & was pretty down & out. I thought maybe I should spend another night but changed my mind, too much money to spend whenyou fel just awful. I decided to drive home but first purchased some icy-hot patches. Put one one on my lower back and upper right leg, they are great. I made it home. My advice to you is make sure you are not alone and be prepared for pain for about a week. They were able to tell me during the procedure that the three dics they were testing were all damaged as I could not distinquish which disc they were testing.What they concluded and told me right there that I was not a candidate for surgery. I hope I have not scared you. I hope at least I was somewhat helpful. Good luck.
  • The place I am going, I've been to before for ESI's, and I think they are great. It is right across the street from my PM's office. I was told that after the discogram, they will send me back over to the PM's to have CT and x-ray done.

    They are about a half hour from home, and my boyfriend is driving. The PM told me I wouldn't return to work until Monday (after discogram on Wed), which sounds like enough time to recover, from reading other threads. I have my laptop to use in bed, if I can't stand getting up and around. And I love TV, and we have a lot of shows on our DVR that I can watch. Hopefully I'll be up for those things.

    As for the pain meds. I took two double doses of oxycodone-APAP 5/325 [so 10mg each time] (approved by doc) on Friday night @ 5pm and 11:30pm. That reduced my pain level some. Saturday morning is when I started taking the Opana. But it turns out that it isn't the ER version (I'm not sure if she didn't write the Rx for the ER version or what), but it says it can be taken every 4-6 hrs. The Opana kept my pain level at that reduced level through the weekend, but now that I am back at work it isn't keeping up (though neither was the oxycodone).

    So for either med, I need more than what I am taking currently. And I would prefer to take the oxycodone because of the price. I'm waiting to get a call back today.
  • First off, YAYAY for getting an action plan together, that alone can make a difference in your outlook on pain.

    I had a discogram last month. I won't lie, it was one of the most painful experiences of my life. I also decided to stop taking any pain meds for a couple of days leading up to the procedure so that I would know what is "normal" pain and what is not. The doc doing my discogram said that this study was the most conclusive he had ever done. The test definately showed that the pain induced by the contrast dye being injected was mimicking my original pain. So, I am now scheduled for a 2 level fusion. My hope for you is that the test gives you some answers.

    One Love,

  • My hope for you is that the test gives you some answers.
    That's what I'm hoping for too. The sheet I received when setting up my appointment says to continue taking pain meds, but I am going to ask my doctor about that. I want to make sure the test is conclusive.

    And you are so right, about feeling better, just by having a plan. But I know it is still going to be a while before I would likely have anything done (surgery if it's indicated, what else I don't know), what with the holidays and I'm not seeing the surgeon until 12/15. And I would assume, though I may be wrong about this, that the surgeon would want to do some additional tests too. I'm afraid it might be months.

    Good luck to you Stephanie, on your surgery. I hope it goes well. I'll be thinking about you, as I stuff my face with birthday cake =)) .
  • I saw my surgeon yesterday. I'm scheduled to have a discography Dec. 5. I'll be interested in hearing about your experiences - just two days before me. Please let us know how it goes.

    I hope it won't be too bad. The ortho who's done all my ESIs will be doing this as well, and he's good. The fact that I'll be on "twilight" medication should help. At least I won't remember much when it's over.

    My MRIs show that L5/S1 and L4/L5 are shot. My surgeon wants the discography to rule out whether L3/L4 (which appears normal on the MRI) is also contributing to the pain. He's planning to do a two-level ALIF in January, and if it turns out that a third level is involved, an ALIF won't work, he said.
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