Discograms involve the insertion of a small needle into the discs. This can be performed at any level of the spine. In the picture below, the discograms are performed in the neck or cervical region. The purpose of discograms is to determine if the degeneration of the discs is leading to pain. As we age, the discs tend to decay and since they have very poor blood supplies, they don't regenerate well. This decay of the discs can lead to severe pain that spreads from the midline outwards. The common type of discogenic type pain is the low back pain that some people get when they claim they "threw there back out". In most people, this type of pain tends to resolve over a few days but in some people, the pain can be become chronic. the simple fact that there is degenerative disc disease on the MRI does not mean that the discs are causing your pain since up to 50% of pain free adults have degenerative discs. This is why the discogram is so important. The discogram helps to determine which, if any, of the discs are causing your pain. Without this information, one might get a multilevel fusion when they only needed one level treated. The procedure is done under sedation and after the needles are in place, we wake you up and pressurize the discs with saline. During the pressurization of the discs, we inquire as to whether or not this recreates your usual pain. This information helps us deterime which discs need to be treated. The procedure takes around 20 minutes.