One decade follow up after nucleoplasty in the management of degenerative disc disease causing low back pain and radiculopathy

Cincu, Rafael; de Asis Lorente, Francisco; Gomez, Joaquin; Eiras, Jose; Agrawal, Amit
January 2015
Asian Journal of Neurosurgery;Apr-Jun2015, Vol. 10 Issue 2, p21
Academic Journal
Objectives: Nucleoplasty is a minimally invasive procedure that is developed to treat patients with symptomatic, but contained disc herniations or bulging discs. The purpose of this study was to evaluate a decade follow-up of coblation nucleoplasty treatment for protruded lumbar intervertebral disc. Methods: In this retrospective study there a total 50 patients who underwent intradiscal coblation therapy for symptomatic, but contained lumbar degenerative disc disease were included. Relief of low back pain, leg pain and numbness after the operation were assessed by visual analog pain scale (VAS). Function of lower limb and daily living of patients were evaluated by the Oswestry disability index (ODI) and subjective global rating of overall satisfaction were recorded and analyzed. Results: There were 27 male and 23 female with followup mean follow up of 115 months (range 105-130 months) with a mean age was 52 years (range 26-74 years). Analgesic consumption was reduced or stopped in 90% of these cases after 1 year. At 24 months follow up VAS was four points and ODI was 7.2. In three patients, we repeated the cool ablation after 36 months, at L3-4 level in two cases. Ten patients continue to be asymptomatic after 114 months of intervention. There were no complications with the procedure including nerve root injury, discitis or allergic reactions. Conclusions: Nucleoplasty may provide intermittent relief in contained disc herniation without significant complications and minimal morbidity. In accordance with the literature the evidence for intradiscal coablation therapy is moderate in managing chronic discogenic low back pain; nucleoplasty appears to be safe and effective.


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