Discography

Discography involves the injection of contrast dye into the center of a disc under direct x-ray control. It is strictly a diagnostic procedure which helps the physician try to locate the source of your pain. Your skin will be injected with a numbing medication such as Lidocaine or Marcaine during the procedure. This may feel like a burning sensation in your back. The physician will tell you when they plan to start the injection(s). You will be asked to report how the injections feel. The most important thing is to report to the physician if the injection reproduces your usual pain.

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF DISCOGRAPHY?
Discography is used to determine whether or not pain is coming from a disc as well as identifying abnormalities in the disc. Some of the abnormal findings during the discography include the presence of a disc herniation, tear of the disc, or a fissure. These abnormalities can be directly viewed by the physician during the exam.

WHICH PATIENTS ARE CANDIDATES FOR DISCOGRAPHY?
If you have had treatments or therapies that have failed to relieve your pain, you physician may order a discography study. Typically, patients with discogenic pain experience pain with sitting and forward bending. However, it should be kept in mind that the symptoms are not specific and you may have other symptoms such as pain with extension or rotation of the back.

WILL THE DISCOGRAM BE PAINFUL?
Discography is only briefly painful. A local anesthetic will be used to numb the skin. The purpose of the exam is to reproduce your current pain at the specific location in your back where it occurs. This induced pain will subside after a few minutes. Areas which do not have abnormalities will not cause pain.

WHAT ARE THE RISKS OR SIDE EFFECTS ASSOCIATED WITH DISCOGRAPHY?
The associated risks involved with the injection(s) are bleeding, infection, and damage to the nerve. The procedure is performed under sterile conditions with the use of direct x-ray guidance which minimize the possible risk. During the procedure you will be given an antibiotic to reduce the chance of infection.  You will be asked to report any signs of infection such as redness, swelling, fever and drainage at the injection site. You should have a thermometer at your home to monitor your temperature.

WHAT IF DISCOGRAPHY DOES NOT REPRODUCE MY PAIN OR DOES NOT ELICIT ANY PAIN DURING INJECTION OF THE DISK?
This indicates that the pain is not likely coming from the disk. The reproduction of pain is the single most important factor in determining whether a subsequent intervention (such as the intra-discal electrothermal therapy –IDET, or surgery) on a disk will be successful in reducing the patient’s pain. In the event that the discogram does not reproduce pain, consideration should be made for other diagnostic interventions.

IF YOU ARE ALLERGIC TO IV DYE YOU SHOULD REPORT THIS TO YOUR PHYSICIAN

Our Services

We offer pain relief injections and minimally invasive surgical procedures.
Call 210-690-0777 to make your appointment.

Discography

Discography involves the injection of contrast dye into the center of a disc under direct x-ray control. It is strictly a diagnostic procedure which helps the physician try to locate the source of your pain. Your skin will be injected with a numbing medication such as Lidocaine or Marcaine during the procedure. This may feel like a burning sensation in your back. The physician will tell you when they plan to start the injection(s). You will be asked to report how the injections feel. The most important thing is to report to the physician if the injection reproduces your usual pain.

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Intra-articular Joint Steroid Injections

An intra-articular joint steroid injection is a therapeutic procedure designed to decrease or eliminate pain symptoms and decrease inflammation within in a joint.

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Epidural Steroid Injection

The epidural space is located outside the lining of the spinal cord. Medications such as corticosteroids and/or local anesthetics are injected in the epidural space by the way of a needle or catheter.

Botulinum Toxin Injections

The usage of Botox® (botulinum toxin) is not limited to cosmetic therapies. There are numerous research studies showing the effectiveness of botulinum toxin in managing painful conditions. Low back pain, headaches and neck pain are just a few of the painful conditions that can benefit from botulinum toxin injections.

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Facet Joint Injections

Facet syndrome cannot be diagnosed by x-ray, CT scan, MRI, Bone scan, or any other radiology process. It is suspected on physical exam by tenderness directly over the facet joint, experiencing pain on extension (bending backwards), and on your history. The diagnosis is made by injecting a local anesthetic and steroid to the painful area or the nerve that goes to this area. If your pain is relieved by this injection you may benefit from another procedure called Radiofrequency Rhizotomy/Neurolysis.

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Epidural Lysis of Adhesions

Also called Racz procedure, this procedure is performed to remove excessive scarring in the epidural space. The epidural space is a thin area between the inside of the spine and the protective layer around the spinal cord. Scar tissue may restrict the natural movement of nerves causing inflammation and pain.

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Radiofrequency Neurotomy

Radiofrequency (RF) rhizotomy/neurotomy, is a therapeutic procedure designed to deaden the nerve to the painful arthritic joint. Relief of pain can last up to one year.

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Selective Nerve Block Injections

A nerve root block is an injection of local anesthetic and sometimes a steroid under the directed vision of an x-ray machine (C-Arm) into the areas where the nerve root exits the spinal column. A nerve root block (injection) follows the path of a single nerve to block pain emitted into an arm, leg or back.
A nerve root block may be used by your Doctor to diagnose (try to determine at which level in your spine the pain is coming from) and provide therapeutic relief at this level with medication.

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Sympathetic Blocks

The sympathetic nerves/ganglions are responsible for pain with burning, shooting and tingling properties. These are specialized nerves that can become “fired-up” even with the smallest injuries or no injuries at all. Most common syndromes related to the sympathetic nerves include RSD(reflex sympathetic dystrophy), facial pain from trigeminal neuralgia, pancreatic cancer pain, etc. Your pain specialist can perform an injection with local anesthetics with or without steroids to disrupt the pain signals from these sympathetic nerves/ganglions.

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Advanced Spine and Pain Center Locations

The Texas Center for Athletes
21 Spurs Lane, Suite 240     |     San Antonio, TX 78240

Westover Hills
10010 Rogers Crossing, Suite 230     |     San Antonio, Texas 78251

Stone Oak
255 E. Sonterra Blvd, Suite 216     |     San Antonio, Texas 78258

phone 210.690.0777        fax 210.690.0779