This minimally invasive procedure is used to determine if your back pain is caused by one or more spinal discs. The procedure involves pressurizing that discs with an injection of a sterile liquid solution that will recreate your everyday pain. This will help your physician determine the course of treatment that will be best for you.
Your communication with the physician during the procedure is important. This will help the physician to better understand exactly which vertebral level or levels that your pain is coming from.
The levels that will be injected will be predetermined by your physician, A guide needle will be inserted into the outer edge of the disc using x-ray guidance. A smaller needle is inserted through the guide needle to reach the center of the disc. This process my be repeated at multiple levels of the spine.
Once the needle placements are confirmed, the testing will begin. This is done by injecting a contrast agent which will allow the physician to visually see the diseased disc. The goal is to recreate your everyday pain. This will help give the physician a better understanding of how to continue with your care.
Risks and Complications
Bleeding – this is very rare. This is the reason you must remain off aspirin based products for at least 3-5 days prior to the injection. Also, if you are on any blood thinners you should be off of those as well for 5 days.
Infection – this is very rare. Keep an eye on the injection site over the few days following the injection. If any red-ness, bleeding or seeping of fluids is noticed, please call the office and speak with a staff member immediately.
If you experience a fever, chills or extremity weakness, please call the office immediately.
This diagnostic procedure will not relieve your pain but will allow your physician to create a plan of care that is best for you. The procedure will be followed up by a CT Scan to allow for more optimal imaging of your spine and spinal discs.
We will take excellent care of you here at Interventional Pain Specialists of Indiana and it is our pleasure to treat you. Please DO NOT hesitate to call the office with any questions or concerns regarding your procedure appointment.