Navigation Links
Outpatient Disc Treatment Gives Long-Term Back Pain Relief

CHICAGO, Dec. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- 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 today 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.

Co-authors are Dimitrios Filippiadis, M.D., Dimitrios Erginousakis, Elias Brountzos, M.D., Nikolaos Ptohis, and Nikolaos Kelekis, M.D.

Note: Copies of RSNA 2009 news releases and electronic images will be available online at beginning Monday, Nov. 30.

RSNA is an association of more than 44,000 radiologists, radiation oncologists, medical physicists and related scientists committed to excellence in patient care through education and research. The Society is based in Oak Brook, Ill. (

Editor's note: The data in these releases may differ from those in the printed abstract and those actually presented at the meeting, as researchers continue to update their data right up until the meeting. To ensure you are using the most up-to-date information, please call the RSNA Newsroom at 1-312-949-3233.

For patient-friendly information on image-guided therapies, visit

SOURCE Radiological Society of North America (RSNA)

SOURCE Radiological Society of North America (RSNA)
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Outpatient disc treatment gives long-term back pain relief
2. BayCare Outpatient Center Opens in Westchase, Florida
3. Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association Urges CMS For Appropriate Hospital Outpatient Drug Reimbursement
4. California Cancer Specialists Medical Group, Inc. Opens Outpatient Cancer Center in South Pasadena, Calif., With Renowned Medical Staff, State-of-the-Art Technology
5. New Outpatient Treatment for Heartburn-Related Problem Stops Esophageal Cancer Before It Starts
6. CareTech to Provide Web Services to Novant Healths Ten Hospitals, 1,100 Physician Medical Group and Regional Outpatient Centers
7. DaVita Celebrates the Opening of Its 1,500th Outpatient Kidney Care Clinic in the United States
8. Ambulatory Surgery Centers Pivotal in Moving Outpatient Surgical Services Into Less Expensive, Clinically Appropriate Settings
9. Forterus Inc. Announces Free Outpatient Treatment to Military Veterans Back from War Zones
10. Nonprofit Outpatient Clinics and Social Service Agencies Outsource Billing to Increase Profits
11. Demand for Outpatient Diagnostic Imaging Forecast to Increase by Double Digits Across All Modalities Through 2012
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/26/2016)... , ... June 26, 2016 , ... PawPaws brand ... new product that was developed to enhance the health of felines. The formula is ... The two main herbs in the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... Austin residents seeking ... American College of Mohs Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and surgical ... effective treatment for skin cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern ... Laude and his M.D from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He ... Los Angeles to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent article ... people are unfamiliar with. The article goes on to state that individuals are now ... of these less common operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) learned during ... two significant new grants to support its work to advance research and patient ... recognizing patients, medical professionals and scientists for their work in fighting pulmonary hypertension ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... CAPR ), a biotechnology company focused on ... today announced that patient enrollment in its ongoing ... Duchenne) has exceeded 50% of its 24-patient target. ... in the third quarter of 2016, and to ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... the establishment of Astellas Farma Colombia (AFC), a new affiliate with operations headquartered in Bogota. Colombia ... ... Sandra ... ... Astellas is a pharmaceutical company ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  Experian Health, ... and transforming the patient payment and care ... innovative new products and services that will ... revenue cycle offerings. These award-winning solutions will ... workflows, remain compliant in an ever-changing environment ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: