Why is Discography Used?
Although magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a very good tool for showing disc abnormalities, it does not allow your health care provider to directly determine if the abnormalities are causing your pain.
Discography is a very specific tool that may help your health care provider determine if the abnormal disc is causing your pain. Generally, patients who undergo discography have not gotten satisfactory pain relief from nonoperative measures such as medication, physical therapy and modified activities. They usually have had back pain for at least 4 to 6 months.
Discography is usually used in patients who are being evaluated to determine a specific cause of pain so a new treatment plan (possibly including surgery) can be developed.