Sunday, June 28, 2009
Your spinal discs are prone to degeneration leading to disc prolapse, protrusion, extrusion and sequestration. This can place pressure on your spinal nerves leading to back pain, neck pain, leg pain (sciatica) and shoulder/arm pains. As this progresses sensation disturbances such as tingling, numbness and motor problems such as weakness and sometimes even paralysis can occur.
In the past the options were either conservative or spine surgery. Fortunately there are now options that are in between. They deal with the root of the problem without formal spine surgery.
These procedures can be categorized as Discoplasty or Discoplasties. A needle like device is placed under local anesthesia into the discs under CT or high quality spine imaging. An energy beam is released through via a wand placed through the needle into the center of the disc. This can vapourize abnormal disc material in the nucleus pulposus. This reduces pressure within the disc. It also allows disc repair and healing. The energy can be a laser energy using either Nd-YAG, holmium or thulium lasers. Other advanced energies are Plasma energy. This is a day procedure which takes less than an hour to perform, has little discomfort for the person treated and he is able to walk home an hour later.
I have been quite impressed in my practise how effective a single treatment of Discoplasty can be for both cervical and lumbar disc problems. Patients are often able to go to work the next day and resume recreational activities quickly.