This Discography procedure utilized to identify if the source of pain is from the disc or in the case of multiple level herniations, which levels are the source of the discomfort. Discography may also be used to assist a surgeon in planning the appropriate surgery once the decision of whether surgery may be needed has been made.

How it’s performed

A minimally invasive procedure, discography is performed on an outpatient basis. Using fluoroscopic low dose x-ray guidance a needle is placed in the discs of the spine at the level of interest. A pressure gauge is used to measure the pressure of the discs. Then using contrast media, the shape of the disc is identified as the dye is injected. Sedation may be offered for patient comfort.

What patients are candidates?

Patients who experience persistent spinal (cervical, thoracic, lumbar) pain, a disc abnormality is suspected, non-invasive tests have failed to provide an explanation or source of pain, a pain correlation is desired.

How long does the procedure take?

Usually 20 to 60 minutes.


After the procedure, the patient may be required to have a CT scan of the spine to further visualize the discs. If there are no complications, the patient is discharged 40 to 60 minutes after the procedure.


Discography helps to precisely identify which discs are painful. For the first month following the procedure, your disc continues to heal.