Intradiscal Injection is performed for both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. For diagnostic reasons, a local anesthetic is used to temporarily block pain within a disc and determine if the pain is coming from that particular disc. For therapeutic reasons, a steroid is injected to decrease inflammation within a disc. The steroid usually takes two to three days to relieve pain.
Initially, an IV is administered for antibiotics and mild sedation during the procedure. The patient lies face down with a pillow placed under the abdomen. Using X-ray guidance, the path to reach the disc is determined. A small amount of contrast solution is injected to ensure that the medicine will pass through the proper disc. Anesthetic and/or steroid are injected.
Following the procedure, the patient remains under supervised care for 35 to 40 minutes. When the anesthetic wears off, the patient may feel some discomfort at the injection site for one to two days. To relieve discomfort, apply ice packs to the area for 15 minutes, several times a day.