The objective of this study was to evaluate the diagnosis of discogenic low back pain (LBP) with discography and discoblock. 42 patients with severe LBP showing L4-L5 or L5-S1 disc degeneration on magnetic resonance imaging were evaluated by discography (1.5 mL of contrast medium) or discoblock (intradisc injection of 0.75 mL of 0.5% bupivacaine).Â Twelve patients did not show pain provocation by discography or pain relief by discoblock and were excluded. Fifteen patients who showed pain provocation by discography and 15 patients who experienced pain relief with discoblock were evaluated. Rates of improvement in the visual analogue scale score, Japanese Orthopedic Association Score, and Oswestry Disability Index score in the discoblock group were significantly higher than those in the discography group (P < 0.05) from baseline to 3 years after surgery. Three patients were dissatisfied with surgery after discography compared with one patient after discoblock.
Pain relief after injection of a small amount of bupivacaine into the painful disc was a useful tool for the diagnosis of discogenic LBP compared with discography.