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21150 W Capitol Dr.
Brookfield, WI 53072

Phone: 262-366-0665
Fax: 262-649-3226


What is Discography?

Discography is an imaging procedure used to determine which discs are causing pain and to what extent. Diagnostic accuracy studies show strong evidence that discography is a useful tool for imaging disc morphology missed by MRI and other tests. By injecting dye into one or more discs while monitoring for reproduction of your back pain, the doctor can identify which of the discs is the source of pain. Discography can detect structural damage in a disc and show if a disc has begun to rupture or has tears in its outer ring—helping to ensure optimal treatment planning. The procedure is covered by Medicare and most private insurers.

How Does Discography Work?

Under x-ray guidance, a thin guide needle is inserted into one or more discs. The discs are then pressurized one at a time with contrast dye to outline any damaged areas. If you experience pain that feels like your usual pain, that disc can be classified as a pain generating or symptomatic disc. During the procedure, your answers to questions about the intensity, type, and location of the pressure will help determine your diagnosis and appropriate treatment options.

Benefits of discography include:

  • Images the structural integrity of the disc
  • Provides real-time information for detailed diagnostics
  • Aids in treatment planning
  • Minimally invasive
  • Performed on an outpatient basis


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