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What is it?

This procedure is used to identify which, if any, intervertebral discs in the neck or back are pain generators for a patient.

How it is performed

X-ray is used to help guide a needle into the intervertebral discs at the levels being studied. A pressure gauge is used to take readings. Dye is also injected and pictures taken to evaluate the shape of the disc. Sedation can be given for our patient’s comfort.

What patients are candidates?

Patients with neck or back pain who have not responded to conservative therapies and for which the discs may be the source of pain for the patient.

How long does the procedure take?

45-60 minutes


Following the injection, the patient may be monitored for 20-30 min before being discharged. The patient may then be asked to obtain a CT scan of the area of interest. This will help to better evaluate the discs that are being studied. Patients are usually asked to rest on the day of the injection and can return to their normal activities by the next day.