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Friday, March 7, 2014
Minimally Invasive treatment options are used when the problem is not treated by any of the previous means. They include the use of small wires and needles inserted into the vertebral column via catheters. The patient is usually under local anesthesia with intermittent pain relievers being administered.
This therapy uses thermal energy to treat pain resulting from a cracked or bulging spinal disc. A special needle is inserted via a catheter into the disc and heated to a high temperature for up to 20 minutes. The heat thickens and seals the disc wall and reduces inner disc bulge and irritation of the spinal nerve.
This procedure uses radiofrequency energy to treat patients with low back pain from contained, or mildly herniated, discs. Guided by x-ray imaging, a wand-like instrument is inserted through a needle into the disc to create a channel that allows inner disc material to be removed. The wand then heats and shrinks the tissue, sealing the disc wall. Several channels are made depending on how much disc material needs to be removed.
This is a procedure using electrical impulses to interrupt nerve conduction (including the conduction of pain signals) for 6 to 12 months. Using x-ray guidance, a special needle is inserted into nerve tissue in the affected area. Tissue surrounding the needle tip is heated for 90-120 seconds, resulting in localized destruction of the nerves.
Many research studies are underway to help us learn about treating spine and back conditions. Would you like to find out more about being part of this exciting research? Please visit the following links:
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Last Reviewed: Oct 12, 2011
David J Hart, MD
Associate Professor of Neurosurgery
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University