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Intradiscal electrothermal therapy (IDET) or intradiskal electrothermal annuloplasty (IDEA) is a relatively new, minimally invasive treatment for spinal disc-related chronic low back pain and that persistent disc pain is thought to be caused by nerve fibers that have grown from their normal location in the outer layers of the disc and reaching into the disc interior. This is related to the breakdown or degeneration of the tough outer layers or annulus of the disc. Almost 70% of patients with chronic low back pain can get benefits from Intradiscal electrothermal therapy.

How does IDET works?

  • The intradiscal electrothermal therapy procedure is performed with a local anesthetic and mild intravenous sedation.
  • A hollow introducer needle is inserted into the painful lumbar disc space by using a portable X-ray machine for proper placement.
  • After that, an electrothermal catheter or heating wire is passed through the needle and positioned along the back inner wall of the disc (the annulus), the site believed to be responsible for the chronic pain.
  • The catheter tip is now slowly heated up to 90 degrees Celsius for 15-17 minutes
  • The heat contracts and thickens the collagen fibers making up the disc wall, thereby promoting closure of the tears and cracks. Tiny nerve endings within these tears are burned or cauterized to make them less sensitive.
  • The catheter along with the needle is then removed and, after a short period of observation the patient can go home.
  • A lumbar support is worn for 6 to 8 weeks which is followed by an appropriate course of physical therapy. Bending and lifting precautions are necessary during this time because it allows adequate healing of the disc.

What to expect after Intradiscal electrothermal therapy?

Pain relief after intradiscal electrothermal therapy is not immediate. Pain may first increase after couple of days from the procedure. Physical therapy is a necessary part of recovery. After first month of intradiscal electrothermal therapy plan to walk and do easy stretches as prescribed by your doctor. During the first 2 to 3 months, exercise as directed by your doctor, and avoid lifting, bending, and long periods of sitting. People who have had IDET are usually told to wait at least 5 to 6 months before resuming strenuous sports such as skiing, running, tennis and football.

Side effects of IDET:

Although risks or complications of intradiscal electrothermal therapy are relatively rare but there are some which include;

  • Disc damage
  • Nerve damage
  • Disc infection

Pain management institute is helping people to cure acute and chronic long term pain to resume a normal life style. PMI has provided many treatments like stem cell therapy and many others.

For more details call on 815.412.6166