A needle is inserted into the disc under fluoroscopic guidance and a special radiofrequency probe (like a mini microwave oven) is inserted through the needle into the disc. This device generates enough energy to break up the molecular bonds of the gel in the disc, essentially vaporizing some of the tissue. The result is that the disc size is reduced by 10-20%, which decompresses the disc and reduces the pressure both on the disc and the surrounding nerve roots. Nucleoplasty can actually reduce the disc bulge, which may be pressing on spinal cord structures. Danger to surrounding tissues is minimized because of the low temperatures used in this procedure. This method offers the possibility of treating certain forms of discogenic low back pain and sciatica with much less trauma and risk than surgery.
Indications: Disc Disease associated with leg and back pain