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Discography is a diagnostic procedure used to gather information about pain generation of spinal discs.

Under fluoroscopy, intervertebral discs are injected with a combination of saline and contrast medium. The procedure is performed with the patient awake but sedated so that immediate pain reports may be obtained as each disc is injected. In addition to injecting suspected painful discs, one normal appearing disc is selected as a control. Painless injection of the control disc is necessary to obtain a diagnostically valid discogram.

Following the discogram, a CT is often obtained to evaluate the morphology of the suspect discs.

Patients with a valid discogram that verifies a painful disc may be candidates for lumbar fusion.

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