SpineUniverse Community Advice
Get help and share your story with others who know what you're going through.
Please register or log in to join the discussions!


Started by cynthia40 on 03/09/2011 2:55pm

Had a dicsogram and a ct scan done on my lower back in october. The doctor who perform the discogram couldnt fine anything but had a ct scan done the same day and I have multilevel degenerative dics and osteocartilaginous changes of my lower lumbar spine and spinal canal stenosis most significan at the l5/s1 oh yeah had a mri done on 11/19/10 and I also have at the l4-5 bulge dics with an annular tear and at my l5-s1 a medium size bulge dics that is pressing on my left nerve root at my s1. I think I need to find a new doctor. what do u think

Do you find this discussion helpful?

1 Response


Hi cynthia40;

If your question about finding a new doctor is based on the negative results of your Discogram, I would say no, based on my explanation below. However, depending on what resources are available to you, you may want to get a second opinion regardless.

Discograms and CT scans are both diagnostic tests, as you are aware. They are so totally different from each other in their capabilities to zero in on potential pain sources, yet for both of them, a successful test relies on the same two basic things:
quality of the administration of the test, and the feedback provided by the person interpreting the test.

The Discogram relies heavily on the interpretation and feedback from the patient . It can be an extremely difficult thing to do ...
During the painful Discogram (I always say that it's not as much fun as it sounds!!), the patient needs to describe their pain as being concordant or nonconcordant - (is the pain you feel during the procedure the familiar back pain you are used to feeling, or is it "only" the new kind of pain you're feeling because there's a big ol needle stuck in your back while painful pressure is being applied to each selected disc level.
For the patient to be specific in differentiating and describing the pain in exact terms can be really tough (in my experience of being the recipient of a Discogram). The testing doctor notes your responses. For me, following up with my spine specialist a few days later to discuss the reported test results - and having a chance to clarify what I felt in more specific, clear-headed terms - resulted in a successful Discogram, in terms of the patient delivering precise feedback.

So, IF you think the doctor who administered the Discogram isn't a good doctor because he "couldn't find anything", you might want to think about taking some of the responsibilty for those 'non-findings'. Your doctor would be able to tell you more about how he or she felt things went.

You might also want to think again if another attempt at a Discogram is on your To Do List, based on the CT findings. (Aren't CTs done BEFORE choosing to have a Discogram party?). I would talk to your current doctor again, and also get a second opinion on back. A second opinion is always a good idea, and it may give you peace of mind.

I really hope you're doing okay!