Kanuru Interventional Spine and Pain Institute

Interventional Pain Management Specialists located in Highland, IN & Crown Point, IN

If back pain prevents you from completing routine day-to-day tasks, determining the cause is the first step in finding relief. At Kanuru Interventionalist Spine & Pain Institute in Highland, Valparaiso, and Demotte, Indiana, pain management specialist Dr. Ramesh Kanuru uses discograms and other diagnostic tests to find out if damaged disks are the culprit. Call his office to learn more, or book an appointment online today.

Discograms Q & A

What is a discogram?

Discs in your spine are like cushions between the bones, or vertebrae, in your spine. A discogram is a diagnostic imaging test that gives Dr. Kanuru a view of discs in your back to find out:

  • If abnormalities cause your chronic neck or back pain
  • The location of damaged discs
  • How to properly treat neck or back pain

Dr. Kanuru may recommend a discogram if back or neck pain persists after conservative treatments such as physical therapy fail, as a discogram is more invasive than initial back pain evaluations.

What should I expect during the procedure?

The morning of a discogram procedure, you’ll avoid food and drinks. During the procedure itself, you’ll be awake, but Dr. Kanuru may give you:

  • A sedative to help you relax
  • An antibiotic to prevent infection
  • Numbing medicine to reduce pain associated with needle insertion

He then cleans your skin, injects dye into your painful discs, and uses X-rays or CT scans to see if the dye stays within the discs or spreads to other areas. If it spreads, your disc is likely damaged (is bulging or herniated, for example) and may be the root cause of back pain.

When a disc is damaged, you might feel discomfort during the injection. However, you may feel little or no pain if your vertebral disc is healthy. After the procedure, you might feel discomfort at the injection site or in your lower back for several hours. Icing the affected area helps ease the pain.

Are there risks associated with discograms?

A discogram is a low-risk procedure and is safe, but as with any type of invasive testing, complications may occur, such as:

  • An allergic reaction to the dye used
  • Nausea or headaches
  • Infection
  • Nerve damage
  • Increased back pain

These side effects are rare, but Dr. Kanuru answers questions and concerns you have prior to the procedure.

How long does a discogram procedure take?

Discogram procedures usually take about 30 to 60 minutes to complete, but you may be in the hospital or clinic for a total of up to three hours. Plan to have someone drive you home.

When you’re ready to find out if a damaged vertebral disc is causing neck or back pain so Dr. Kanuru can alleviate symptoms, call his office to book an appointment or schedule one online today.