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Annuloplasty IDET

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An annuloplasty is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure for those whom have not had success with other treatments and/or injections and do not want to undergo major spine surgery to remove/replace the affected disc and fuse the affected vertebrae. Patients who have an annuloplasty are able to go home the same day of the procedure. An annuloplasty is also called Intradiscal Electrothermal Therapy.

During the procedure, controlled levels of thermal heat are applied directly to the affected disc.  The heat cauterizes the collagen fibers in the outer portions of the disc wall (annulus) or the inner portion of the disc wall (nucleoplasty), closing disc wall tears and reducing symptoms from the disc injury. The patient may feel some pain during the procedure, which is an indication that the heat is being applied to the appropriate area. The needle is then removed and a small bandage is applied to the insertion point.

This is a treatment for chronic pain in your lower back. The physician uses heat to reduce the sensitivity of nerve fibers in a spinal disc. More than one disc may be treated.

Common Questions about Annuloplasty

As with any invasive medical procedure, there are risks associated with the procedure itself that you’ll want to discuss with your physician before any type of treatment is administered. Those risks include, but are not limited to, increased pain, bleeding and infection. In general, a annuloplasty procedure is very safe and serious side effects or complications are rare.

Annuloplasty is typically for patients whom have not had success with other treatments and/or injections and do not want to undergo major spinal surgery to remove/replace the affected disc and fuse the affected vertebrae. Please inform your doctor If you are taking blood thinners; have a history of a bleeding disorder; have an infection in any part of your body; or are allergic to iodine (i.e., shellfish, IVP dye) as this procedure may not be the right treatment for you.

Pain relief after this procedure is not immediate. In fact, your pain may increase during the first couple of days. During the first month after annuloplasty, plan to walk and do easy stretches as prescribed by your doctor. For the first few months you may be directed to avoid lifting, bending and long periods of sitting. For the first six months you may be told to refrain from any strenuous sports like basketball, skiing, running or tennis. Your doctor will map out a course of treatment including recommended post-operative exercise/stretching. Physical therapy will be a necessary part of recovery from an annuloplasty procedure.

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