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 28, 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 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

AFP (July 28, 2014) The worst-ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic grips west Africa, killing hundreds. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. Video provided by Newsy
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