What is SpineCATH IDET Therapy?
With age, or due to injury, cracks or fissures may develop in the wall of the
intervertebral disc. Filled with small nerve endings and blood vessels, these
fissures are a chronic source of pain in many patients. Additionally, the inner
disc tissue (nucleus) will frequently bulge (herniate) into these fissures in
the outer region of the disc, likewise stimulating pain sensors within the disc.
SpineCATH IDET therapy is a minimally invasive treatment in which the physician
applies controlled levels of thermal energy (heat) to a broad section of the
affected disc wall. This heat contracts and thickens the collagen of the disc
wall. Therapy may result in contraction or closure of the disc wall fissures or
a reduction in the bulge of the inner disk material.
Who may benefit from spinCATH IDET therapy?
SpineCATH IDET therapy acts exclusively upon the tissues of the disc itself,
and should not be expected to relieve symptoms arising from other spinal
structures, such as nerve roots or spinal joints. It is therefore very important
for your physician to diagnose that the disc is the primary source of your back
pain. In addition to a clinical examination, your physician may use Magnetic
Resonance Imaging (MRI) or injections of dye into the disc (discography) to
confirm the diagnosis. Once satisfied that one or more discs are the primary
source of your lower back pain, your physician may recommend SpineCATH IDET
SpineCATH IDET therapy is usually performed on an outpatient basis. Local
anesthesia and mild sedation may be used to reduce discomfort during the
procedure. You will be awake and alert so that you can provide important
feedback to the physician. With the guidance of x-ray images, your physician
will advance a needle into the disc. The SpineCATH catheter will be passed
through the needle and into the disc. Once it is in the appropriate position,
the temperature of the heating section of the catheter will be gradually
increased, raising the disc wall temperature. During the heating protocol, your
physician will monitor your condition and comfort level closely. You will most
probably feel a reproduction of your usual lower back pain. This is a strong
indication that the heat is being applied to the appropriate areas. Once the
therapy is completed, the catheter and needle are removed, and you will likely
be sent home with a Band-Aid over the needle insertion site.
After the Procedure
The discomfort generated when the disc is heated may take several days to
subside, and your physician may prescribe medication. During the disc healing
process, up to 12 to 16 weeks following the procedure, it is very important to
treat your discs with care. Your physician will provide you with activity and
physical rehabilitation guidelines. Patients report that it is during this time
that they usually begin to experience relief from their lower back pain
symptoms, a reduction or elimination of any medication use, and an increase in
their functional abilities. Improvements may continue up to six months following
Important Information About SpineCATH IDET Therapy
SpineCATH IDET therapy, like any surgical procedure, has some risks. Not all
patients will find relief for their back pain and relieved symptoms may recur
over time. Please consult your physician about the risks and potential
complications of SpineCATH IDET therapy.
Many additional factors may prevent your physician from recommending
SpineCATH IDET therapy for your condition. Such factors may include, but are not
limited to, very narrow disc height, severe disc herniation, spinal instability,
very advanced stages of disc degeneration, or various general health concerns.
If SpineCATH IDET therapy is recommended for you, we advise you to openly
discuss your treatment expectations with your physician, as he or she is best
suited to ensure your expectations are reasonable given your personal condition.
Lower back pain is one of the most common ailments affecting people at some
point in their lives. For most people, the pain resolves quickly, perhaps aided
by rest, therapeutic exercise, or medication. But for many, the pain is a result
of a disc degeneration process that is prolonged, severe, and for which
conventional treatment does not provide the needed relief. It is for these
chronic lower back pain sufferers that the SpineCATH IntraDiscal ElectroThermal
(IDET) therapy was developed.