This procedure is performed for diagnostic purposes when an MRI picture is inconclusive as to the likely source of pain and your clinical findings does not clearly indicate a single specific disc as a source of pain.
Typically a person has more than one symptomatic disc so with discography often three discs are tested by injecting them to see whether any pain is reproduced. Light sedation is often used to introduce a small needle into the target discs. Then, still using low-dose x-ray guidance a small amount of dye is injected with small measured pressure and your response to this pressure is noted. Usually one will be asymptomatic while one or two of the others will cause pain. This indicates that the painful discs are a probable cause of your pain. This may then guide you or your referring practitioner towards a therapeutic disc procedure we offer including disc decompression by coblation nucleoplasty, biacuplasty or possibly PRP or stem cells.
What are the benefits?
You are likely to provide a more specific and accurate diagnosis of disc-related pain and thus allows you to consider other therapeutic options.
What to expect after the procedure?
there may be several days of increased back-ache which will settle.
What are the risks?
Risks may include very uncommonly spinal nerve irritation with sciatic pain and even less likely an infection of the disc which may need hospital-based antibiotic treatment.
Disc Decompression by Coblation Nucleoplasty
This mouthful is describing that we offer a highly successful minimally-invasive way of a needle-based approach to alter the pain associated with a disc. In particular it can minimise any pain referring out of your spine into a limb.
If it is not successful enough, as with all our procedures, it does not preclude subsequent surgery.
Other disc procedures available:
These include biacuplasty which has similarities with zygapophysial joint thermal neurotomy as above, and intra-discal injection of PRP (platelet-rich plasma) by special arrangement.