Intradiscal Electrothermal Therapy (IDET)
A minimally invasive procedure for patients with chronic lower back pain who have not responded to more conservative treatments, and whose pain is thought to be caused by nerve fibers that have grown from their normal location in the outer layers of a spinal disc to inside the disc.
During the Procedure
The patient lies facedown on an x-ray table while numbing medication is injected into the targeted area. Using fluoroscopic guidance, a hollow needle containing a catheter with a heating element is inserted into the spinal disc. The catheter is positioned in a circle on the outer layer of the disc and slowly heated to destroy the nerve fibers and toughen the disc tissue.
The procedure takes 60 minutes, with about 60 minutes recovery. Sedation is provided and discomfort during the procedure should be minimal. The patient must be driven home.
Pain relief after IDET is not immediate and may even increase the first couple of days. Physical therapy will be a necessary part of recovery.