Intradiscal Electrothermal Therapy (IDET) for Low Back Pain
Intradiscal electrothermal therapy (IDET) is a relatively new, minimally invasive treatment for Reference spinal disc Opens New Window-related chronic Reference low back pain Opens New Window. This type of 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, reaching into the disc interior. This is related to the breakdown (degeneration) of the tough outer layers (annulus) of the disc. The pain may also be from injury to the disc, causing the material in the center (nucleus) of the disc to move into the outer layers of the disc. This material from the nucleus is irritating to the outer layers, where the nerves are, and it causes pain.
Reference Discography is typically done before IDET to try to clearly identify the disc problem. After discography, your doctor will decide whether it is likely that your disc problem can be helped by IDET. Before an IDET procedure, you are given a Reference sedative Opens New Window and a Reference local anesthetic Opens New Window. Using "live" X-ray imaging (fluoroscopy), a doctor inserts a hollow needle containing a flexible tube (catheter) and heating element into the spinal disc. The catheter is positioned in a circle in the outer layer (annulus) of the disc and is then slowly heated to about 194°F (90°C). The heat is meant to destroy the nerve fibers and toughen the disc tissue, sealing any small tears. Antibiotics, either given in a vein (Reference intravenous Opens New Window) or injected into the disc, are used to prevent a disc infection.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: February 15, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Reference Robert B. Keller, MD - Orthopedics