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Discogram Procedure

What is Discogram Procedure

A discogram, also spelled diskogram, is a test used to evaluate back pain. A discogram might help your doctor determine if an abnormal disk in your spine is causing your back pain.

Spinal disks are spongelike cushions between the bones (vertebrae) of the spine. During a discogram, dye is injected into the soft center of one or more disks. The injection sometimes reproduces your back pain.

The dye also moves into any cracks in the disk's exterior, which can then be seen on an X-ray or CT scan. However, disks that show signs of wear and tear don't always cause symptoms, so the usefulness of a discogram is controversial.


A discogram is generally safe. But as with any medical procedure, a discogram carries a risk of complications, including:

  • Infection
  • Worsening of chronic back pain
  • Headache
  • Injury to nerves or blood vessels in and around the spine
  • Allergic reaction to the dye