Low back pain is one of the commonest spine diseases. The most common cause of low back pain with classical irradiation along the nerve root course is disc protrusion or herniation. In the last twenty years, several minimally invasive percutaneous techniques have been introduced into clinical practice for the treatment of lumbar disc herniations. These include:
- automated percutaneous lumbar discectomy according to Onik
- percutaneous laser disc decompression
- intradiscal electrothermal therapy
- percutaneous coablation
- decompressor percutaneous discectomy
- chemodiscolysis with O2_O3
All of them can represent a safe and alternative therapy option to surgical treatment in selected cases and offer satisfactory clinical outcomes combined with good patient compliance and a low cost. They all require a short hospital stay and can be repeated several times in the same patient.
Recently, a preliminary clinical study assessed a new product – gelified ethyl alcohol (Discogel®) – for mini-invasive percutaneous treatment of herniated disc with a good outcome. It is a sterile viscous solution containing ethyl alcohol, cellulose derivative product, added to a radio-opaque element, tungsten, that injected into the vertebral disc, relieves low back, radicular or lumbo-radicular pain.
Intra-Discal Microtherapy with DiscoGel® affords rapid pain relief
The compound results in a loss of the water storage capacity of the intervertebral disc by denaturation the proteo-glycan matrix of the nucleus pulposus. This in turn results in a progressing decompression of the effected spinal nerves within hours to a few days”.
Advantages of DiscoGel® in Comparison with other Treatment Methods
- Minimally invasive method with low risk
- No surgical access to the spinal canal necessary
- No scarring, no „failed back syndrome“, no impediment to future therapies (including surgery)
- Out-patient procedure, hospital stay not necessary
- No need for lengthy post-surgical physiotherapy
- High success rate (80 – 90 %)
The treatment with DiscoGel® takes between 20 to 40 minutes and is carried out under local anaesthesia. Additional general relaxation of the patient during the treatment is effected by medication that causes mild sedation and analgesia (pain relief). After treatment a two hour period under medical observation in one of our private patient lounges is recommended. A longer stay as an in-patient is not necessary.