This procedure is administered to diagnose the amount of spinal discs causing back pain. A lumbar discography is used as an aid to assist the physician in planning future treatment. To prepare for this procedure the patient should lie on the side while medication is given to calm the patient and keep them awake. The patient needs to be awake to inform the physician about what is felt throughout the procedure. A local anesthetic is applied to numb the tissue and skin around the disc area. An x-ray is used to guide the needle through to the center of the disc and is repeated for each disc. After placing the needles, the physician will inject contrast dye and the patient will be asked to inform the physician about whether pain or pressure is felt. If the patient experiences pain, the disc may be diseased. After testing is done a fluoroscopic unit is used to take images of the discs. This procedure will not take more than an hour to perform. Soreness may be felt by the patient a few days after the procedure but can be relieved with acetaminophen and ice.

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