A discogram is a x-ray test doctors use to determine whether a patient’s neck or back pain is caused by a damaged disc in the spine. Spinal discs are ring-shaped soft tissues between the vertebrae (bones of the spine). They function as cushions for those bones, and give the spine flexibility. Damaged or misaligned discs don’t provide proper cushioning, leading to pain.
In a discogram, a surgeon injects special dye into a spinal disc suspected of being damaged. If the disc has any tears or cracks, or is worn down, the dye will flow into those spaces. Next, an x-ray is taken of the disc, and the dye displays any damage. This helps the surgeon diagnose the problem and consider which treatment to perform.