Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Outpatient disc treatment gives long-term back pain relief

Date:
December 7, 2009
Source:
Radiological Society of North America
Summary:
A randomized, controlled study comparing standard conservative therapy to a minimally invasive treatment called percutaneous disc decompression for painful herniated disc revealed that while both treatments help patients in the short run, only disc decompression kept patients pain free up to two years later.

A randomized, controlled study comparing standard conservative therapy to a minimally invasive treatment called percutaneous disc decompression for painful herniated disc revealed that while both treatments help patients in the short run, only disc decompression kept patients pain free up to two years later. Results of the study, the first of its kind, were presented December 2 at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

Discs are sponge-like cushions that rest between the bones of the spine. When a disc bulges or herniates outward, it can cause irritation or pressure on the spinal nerves, resulting in a condition known as sciatica. Sciatica is characterized by back and leg pain and weakness. Physicians often recommend that patients try six weeks of anti-inflammatory and pain medications before considering other treatments.

"Most protocols call for a minimal approach to initially treat a herniated disc," said Alexios Kelekis, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of interventional radiology at the University of Athens in Greece. "But by deflating the disc and giving the nerve root the space it needs, disc decompression solves the problem of root irritation and prevails in the long run."

In percutaneous disc decompression, interventional radiologists use image guidance to puncture a bulging disc through the skin with a needle and deflate the disc by either removing some tissue or using energy to dissolve it. The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia, and patients are usually able to return to normal activities within 30 days.

In this study, Dr. Kelekis and colleagues treated two groups of patients with herniated discs and sciatica confirmed by MRI. Both groups included 17 men and 14 women complaining of back and leg pain. The mean age of patients was 36.

Both groups had tried different conservative treatments in the past without success. The first group, which received six weeks of rigorous conservative therapy consisting of analgesics, anti-inflammatory drugs and muscle relaxants, reported pain reduction and improved mobility at the end of treatment. The second group underwent percutaneous disc decompression.

Upon completion of treatment, patients in both groups were clinically evaluated and completed a questionnaire designed to assess pain relief, quality of life and mobility improvement at intervals of three months, 12 months and 24 months later.

Both patient groups reported pain reduction and increased mobility at the three-month interval. However, one year and two years after treatment, patients who had undergone disc decompression continued to improve, while patients who received only conservative therapy reported that their pain had returned and their mobility had decreased.

"Up until 12 months following therapy, both groups of patients were doing great," Dr. Kelekis said. "But by 12 months beyond treatment, patients who received only conservative therapy had returned to their initial pain levels."

Percutaneous disc decompression is suitable only for herniated discs that are not ruptured or too compressed.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Radiological Society of North America. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Radiological Society of North America. "Outpatient disc treatment gives long-term back pain relief." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 December 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091202081633.htm>.
Radiological Society of North America. (2009, December 7). Outpatient disc treatment gives long-term back pain relief. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091202081633.htm
Radiological Society of North America. "Outpatient disc treatment gives long-term back pain relief." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091202081633.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins