IDET: an Alternative to Invasive Surgery for Chronic Low Back Pain
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IDET: an Alternative to Invasive Surgery for Chronic Low Back Pain
  • Intradiscal Electrothermal Annuloplasty (IDET) is a minimally invasive treatment for chronic low back pain that results from certain types of painful degenerative disc disease or contained disc herniation. Successful IDET treatment may allow some patients to experience good or excellent pain relief without having to undergo major spinal surgery for disc removal and spinal fusion, or disc replacement.

    The IDET treatment was first introduced in 1997 and has been performed extensively since then. The procedure involves inserting a catheter into the disc and heating it up. It takes about an hour and can be readily performed on an outpatient basis (with no overnight hospital stay). Several disc levels may be treated in a single session.

    The exact mechanism by which IDET reduces disc pain is still under investigation. Proposed mechanisms include: thermal destruction of pain sensitive nerve endings in the posterior disc wall; heat induced contraction of collagen tissue within the disc wall that may seal up painful tears; stimulation of new collagen formation, and; destruction or alteration of inflammatory or pain mediators within the disc tissue.

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