A discogram is an invasive diagnostic test that uses x-rays to examine the intervertebral discs of your spine and evaluate painful or degenerative disc(s). During this diagnostic procedure, the physician is able to precisely locate which discs are damaged and are causing back pain.
A special dye is injected into the injured disc or series of discs. The dye makes the disc visible on a fluoroscope monitor and x-ray film. If the contrast dye spreads outside the center of the disc, it may indicate that the disc annulus has tears or has ruptured. The results of a discogram may confirm the need for surgery, as well as determine the exact cause of your back pain, which will increase the likelihood of a positive outcome from surgery.