Interventional Spine Procedures
If you’ve been dealing with ongoing pain in your neck or back resulting from an injury, illness, or surgery, you should consult with one of our doctors. When other doctors tell you to accept the pain, we will tell you how to reduce or completely eliminate it. Pain medicine specialists are the most qualified to address pain that does not resolve on its own. Pain management is what we do every day, all day.
The goals of interventional pain medicine are to reduce discomfort and improve and restore function to the affected area of the body. Achieving this requires a highly individualized approach. It depends on your tolerance for pain as well as the impact it has on your daily life.
The way you describe the pain is also a factor that should be considered when creating a treatment plan. At The Spine Diagnostic & Pain Treatment Center, we realize that no two patients are alike.
Interventional spine procedures are on the cutting edge of medical technology. Our doctors can diagnose and treat spine-related pain at the same time using minimally invasive techniques. Many of our procedures are completely nonsurgical. These procedures offer highly effective pain treatment with minimal downtime.
Diagnosing Disc Pain
Discography, or a discogram, is a diagnostic tool used to determine the structural integrity of an intervertebral disc (or discs). It helps us determine if a particular disc is responsible for your back pain.
Discography is indicated when a patient’s symptoms are severe and persist despite conservative therapy, when the results of other diagnostic tests (e.g., MRI) prove inconclusive, and/or if a disc abnormality is suspected. We use the results of a discogram to confirm a diagnosis.
The test is performed on an outpatient basis with sedation. Fluoroscopy, an imaging technique that projects an X-ray picture onto a monitor, is used to guide the spinal needle into the suspect intervertebral disc. A radiopaque dye is then injected through the spinal needle into the nucleus of the disc.
During the test, we evaluate the dye pattern for leaks occurring outside the intervertebral disc walls. At this time, your symptoms (e.g., back pain, tingling sensation) may be replicated due to the pressure created by the dye injection (provocative discography).
After the dye is injected, a CT scan is usually performed on the painful disc to obtain images of the dye distribution. The CT scan will reveal annular tears, scarring, disc bulges, and changes in the disc’s nucleus. The combination of discogram and CT scan helps us recreate painful symptoms and disc abnormalities and determine the specific source of pain.
The discogram takes approximately 30 minutes plus an additional 30 minutes if a CT scan is indicated. Recovery time may be several hours. Both the discogram and CT scan are valuable diagnostic tools. In those cases, where surgery is indicated, they can also provide us with a clearer picture of your specific problem prior to surgery.
For more information about interventional spine care, please call The Spine Diagnostic & Pain Treatment Center. We have locations in Baton Rouge, Denham Springs, Brusly, and more. To request an appointment call now: (225) 769-5554.