Intradiscal Electrothermal Annuloplasty

Intradiscal electrothermal annuloplasty (IDET) is a minimally invasive procedure that can be used to reduce lower back pain caused by the lumbar disc. The procedure was developed in the late 1990s, so it is still relatively new. The entire process takes about an hour. Here is how it works:

  • Before beginning the procedure, the patient will be given local anesthetic and mild sedation.
  • The doctor will then inset a hollow needle into the lumbar disc. This is done using x-ray guidance to ensure precision.
  • Next, the doctor will place a heating wire through the hollow needle. The tip of the heating wire will reach about 90 degrees Celcius.
  • The heat will change the collagen fibers located within the lumbar disc. This process should burn the nerve endings, thus damaging or destroying the pain receptors.
  • The heating wire and the needle is then removed from the patient’s lumbar disc. After a short period of observation, the patient will be allowed to leave.
  • Following the procedure, the patient is to wear a lumbar support for 6 to 9 weeks. Physical therapy may also be prescribed as well.