Methods of treatment

Endoscopic disc operations

Thermal disc fixation, more precisely known by the term intradiscal electrothermic therapy (IDET), is a method
developed at Stanford University, near San Francisco, for the fixation of the soft tissue in the disc ring by
applying heat with the simultaneous destruction of the newly formed nerves and vessels. This restores the
stability of the disc and eliminates pain.

Under local anaesthetic, a fine thermoprobe is introduced into the affected part of the external fibrous ring. The
exact positioning of the catheter tip is determined under x-ray guidance. The thermoprobe is then slowly
heated for around 15 minutes and removed again.

IDET is a gently, low-risk procedure for the fixation of the fibrous ring of an intervertebral
disc stressed due to wear. Before applying the method, we must first examine the lumbar
spine using magnetic resonance tomography (MRT) in order to determine beyond doubt
whether such damage is present. In addition, we inject a contrast medium into the disc
under local anaesthetic in order to document the extent of wear of the disc (discography).

Who can benefit from this technique?

The IDET method acts only on the disc tissue itself. Thus, it cannot be expected to alleviate
symptoms arising from other spinal structures, such as nerve roots or connections between
spinal joints. For this reason, it is very important for us at the Ligamenta Spinal Centre that the
disc is diagnosed as the primary cause of your back pain.

To confirm the diagnosis, we can therefore perform magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or inject
a contrast medium into the disc (discography) in addition to a medical examination. Only after
we have clarified whether one or more intervertebral discs are the primary cause of your back
pain in the lumbar region can we recommend the IDET method.

Here you will find the information as pdf-file

Methods of treatment

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