Thermal Annuloplasty (discTRODE™)
An Effective Treatment for Herniated or Degenerated Discs
If you suffer from chronic low back pain and/or leg pain, you may have either a herniated disc* or a degenerated disc* that has developed an annular tear. This condition typically develops as the result of genetics, age, poor posture, work activities, or sports related injuries. There are several ways to treat pain from an injured disc, including physical therapy, medications, and epidural nerve blocks*. If these methods fail to provide significant relief, a minimally invasive treatment, known as thermal annuloplasty using the discTRODETM procedure, may offer you a successful alternative to surgery.
How does thermal annuloplasty help?
Discs are soft, rubbery pads located between the bony vertebrae that make up the spinal column. Composed of a thick outer ring of fibrous tissue (annulus) and an inner gel-like substance (nucleus), discs allow the back to bend and also act as shock absorbers. When the annulus develops a defect or tear, the nucleus can break through. Much like toothpaste, the nucleus bulges out or herniates, putting pressure on the nerves behind the disc. Even slight amounts of pressure can cause pain, numbness, or weakness. The thermal annuloplasty discTRODETM procedure employs a radiofrequency (RF) catheter electrode to apply heat to coagulate and decompress disc material, providing effective pain relief.
Using fluoroscopy (x-ray) guidance, your doctor will insert the discTRODE™ cannula (a very thin, flexible tube) into the damaged disc. The tube is used to direct the catheter electrode into the outer disc tissue. Radiofrequency current flows through the electrode, heating the tissue to a specific treatment temperature. An additional external temperature monitor allows your doctor to continuously observe temperature throughout the procedure. After the tube and catheter are removed, the insertion site is bandaged.
How long does it take?
The thermal annuloplasty procedure is performed in a sterile office-based setting. It requires only a local anesthetic, which significantly reduces procedure and recovery time. Generally, the treatment takes 45 minutes to an hour, followed by a brief observed recovery period.
You may find using ice at the site of the treatment is beneficial for the first 48 to 72 hours after treatment. Often, a brace is recommended and lengthy driving, lifting, and bending or twisting at the waist are restricted for the first few weeks following your treatment. Usually, three to four weeks later, physical therapy may begin.
What are the expected results?
Many people begin to experience considerable and often lasting pain reduction within three months after treatment. It may take as long as six months before you experience the full benefits. Talk to a board-certified pain specialist at Capitol Spine & Pain Centers to determine if thermal annuloplasty treatment is right for you.
Stop pain from interfering with your life.
Resolve your symptoms with help from the board-certified pain specialists at Capitol Spine & Pain Centers.