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Treating Chronic Back Pain with Percutaneous Disc Decompression

Sciatic nerve impingement is a common culprit for chronic pain. If a disc bulges or ruptures, it can press on your sciatic nerve which may cause pain in your leg or feet, even though the origin of the pain is in your spine. Percutaneous Decompression (Nucleoplasty) is an option for sciatic nerve pain or spinal stenosis is to remove the disc tissue that is pressing on the nerves. Traditional disc-decompression surgery requires an incision to expose the vertebrae and damaged disc and then trim the disc tissue using surgical instruments. Percutaneous decompression offers a less invasive approach.

This is a procedure to treat a herniated disc. That’s a bulging disc in your spine. Getting rid of the bulge can relieve pressure on your nerves. It can relieve pain in your lower back and in your legs.

In percutaneous disc decompression, instead of an incision, the physician inserts a needle into the disc to remove excess tissue. The needle, which is guided by real-time imaging, can remove the tissue by cutting and aspiration; dissolving the tissue chemically; or by destroying the tissue with a laser or high water pressure.

Many patients, who were the right candidates for this procedure, have reported a positive change in their condition  after Percutaneous Decompression and were able to return to their normal daily activities with little pain. Follow-up visits are recommended and by following the doctor’s instructions regarding exercise and activity, the disc(s) are less likely to become herniated.

Common Questions about Disc Decompression

Generally, percutaneous decompression is a safe and effective treatment. As with any minimally invasive medical procedure, there are risks that you’ll want to discuss with your physician before treatment is administered. The potential side effects or risks are minor and occur infrequently:

  • Soreness and bruising where needle was injected.
  • Potential infection at the injection point.
  • More serious issues may ensue if there is a misplacement of the needle.

Percutaneous decompression is most commonly performed for herniated discs that are not ruptured or too compressed. Good candidates are patients who have seen little or no improvement with conservative treatments, including medication, physical therapy, and spinal injections. Also, patients with a relatively small or contained disc herniation are better candidates than those with larger herniations.

Because it is minimally invasive, percutaneous decompression can be performed under local anesthesia in an outpatient surgery center. Some patients experience an increase in back pain temporarily, but it goes away within a few days.

Yes. Percutaneous decompression can also go by these names:

  • Dekompressor Discectomy
  • Nucleotome Discectomy
  • LASE procedure
  • Percutaneous Laser Disc Decompression
  • Percutaneous Laser Discoplasty
  • Plasma Disc Decompression

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