Intradiscal Electrothermal Therapy – A Viable Alternative to Invasive Surgery for Chronic Low Back Pain

The intradiscal electrothermal therapy was first presented in 1997 and has been performed widely from that point forward. The treatment includes inserting a catheter into the disc and warming it up. The treatment requires around an hour and can be promptly performed on outpatient premises without requiring a hospital stay. A number of disc levels might be treated in a single session.

Intradiscal electrothermal therapy is a comparatively new, slightly invasive treatment for spinal disc related chronic low back pain. This kind of constant disc pain is believed to be triggered by nerve fibres that have grown from their normal area in the external layers of the disc, reaching into the disc interior.

This is linked with the breakdown (degeneration) of the hard external layers (annulus) of the disc. The pain may likewise take place due to the injury to the disc, affecting the material (nucleus) of the disc to move into the external layers of the disc. This material, as a result, from the nucleus is annoying to the external layers, where the nerves are in place, and it ends up causing pain.

What Is The Success Rate Of Intradiscal Electrothermal Therapy?

Various researchers have shown that around 50 to 60% of individuals going through intradiscal electrothermal therapy experience good or astounding pain relief. An examination by Pauza, Howel, Dreyfuss (the gold standard in medicine for determining the unbiased success rate of a given treatment), demonstrated that 40% of individuals going through intradiscal electrothermal therapy accomplished more than 50% relief of their pain. This was more than 32% of individuals who experienced more than 50% pain relief in the wake of experiencing the sham treatment.

However, it is vital to consider that cautious patient selection and particular position of the intradiscal electrothermal therapy catheter seem to drive towards higher success rates. Individuals with less serious disc degeneration are thought to react preferably to the intradiscal electrothermal therapy over individuals with extreme disc degeneration.

Possible Risks and Difficulties Regarding Intradiscal Electrothermal Therapy

This is a fact that there are slight risks related to intradiscal electrothermal therapy when it is performed by an expert doctor. At first, it was imagined that disc space infection, nerve root injury, post-treatment disc degeneration or herniation, and post-treatment increase in back pain were noteworthy concerns. Nonetheless, most published researches of intradiscal electrothermal therapy have not revealed any substantial complications and the genuine risk of complications is felt to be very low.