percutaneous disc photo

Percutaneous Disc Nucleoplasty: A Primer

Percutaneous disc nucleoplasty is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat and reduce pain caused by herniated discs or disc protrusion. This procedure also helps restore and promote mobility. Being minimally invasive, nucleoplasty involves smaller incision, faster recovery and lower risks of complication compared to traditional surgery. This procedure is conducted by a trained radiologist and specialist using state-of-the-art technology and image guidance.

Percutaneous Discectomy Definition

If you are suffering from herniated disc, low back or leg pain, or disc protrusion, this minimally invasive procedure is the solution. Nucleoplasty or lumbar percutaneous disectomy involves relieving pressure on the affected nerve by removing the tissue from the disc. This helps reduce and treat the pain and promote mobility.

This procedure is only performed by specialists and interventional radiologists. The specialists have additional education and extensive training and experience.

How is a Percutaneous Discectomy Done?

Before discectomy or nucleoplasty is done, the patient with herniated disc is evaluated first. The patient may be evaluated by phone interview or in person. The evaluation generally includes blood tests, physical examination and directed history. It also involves imaging study to corroborate the findings and in preparation for the treatment.

During the procedure, the patient will be given a sedative and local anesthesia to help him relax and to ensure a pain-free nucleoplasty. Guided by live images, the specialist will insert a needle into the area where there’s disc profusion. A catheter will then be inserted into the same spot. After this, the specialist will remove the tissue to relieve the pressure on the disc and the affected nerve. For this, the specialist will use either heat or radio waves. Generally, it takes about an hour to perform the whole procedure. The procedure has 80% success rate and the patients, in most cases, experience pain relief.

After the procedure, the patient will not be discharged yet as weakness and pain may still be experienced. The patient will be kept for several hours for proper observation. Before discharging the patient, the specialist will instruct the patient on what to do. There are certain activities and instructions that the patient need to do and follow in order to re-establish his health and to live a pain-free life.

 Who Is a Candidate for a Percutaneous Disc Nucleoplasty?

The best candidates for percutaneous disc nucleaoplasty are those with debilitation and chronic back pain due to disc profusion or herniated disc. The pain is categorized as chronic when it lasts for at least six weeks. These patients, men or women, often cannot perform certain activities like walking due to the pain and limited mobility. The procedure is not commonly availed of as the first option. Nucleoplasty, normally, is performed when traditional or conservative treatments like back brace, bed rest or medications have failed. Most patients are elderly, because herniated disc is more common among people aging around 70 years. Younger patients with osteoporosis may also be a candidate for nucleoplasty.

If you are suffering from reduced mobility and chronic pain caused by disc profusion, and if traditional treatments have not been effective, it is time that you consider a better option. Percutaneous disc nucleaoplasty is minimally invasive, so there is nothing to worry about. Have the procedure conducted by pain and back specialists. We have a team of specialists to ensure a successful, comfortable procedure. Make an appointment with us today.