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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 657-669

Current concepts in intradiscal percutaneous minimally invasive procedures for chronic low back pain

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University Hospital of Ioannina, Ioannina, Greece

Correspondence Address:
Ioannis Gkiatas
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Ioannina, 45500, Ioannina
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ajns.AJNS_119_17

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Study Design: A systemic review of thermal annular procedures (TAPs) and percutaneous disk decompression procedures (PDDPs) for the treatment of discogenic chronic low back pain (CLBP) was conducted. Objective: The objective of this review is to evaluate and to compare the effectiveness of TAPs and PDDPs in treating discogenic CLBP and to assess the frequency of complications associated with those procedures. Materials and Methods: English-language journal articles were identified through computerized searches of the PubMed database and bibliographies of identified articles and review papers. Articles were selected for inclusion if percutaneous minimally invasive procedures were the treatment options for patients with CLBP and if follow-up outcome data included evaluations of back pain severity, functional improvement, and/or incidence of complications. For this review, 27 studies were included. Results: Intradiscal electrothermal therapy (IDET) procedure in properly selected patients may eliminate or delay the need for surgical intervention for an extended period, whereas few adverse effects have been reported. In contrast to IDET, there is far less literature on the effectiveness of radiofrequency annuloplasty and intradiscal biacuplasty procedures. Nucleoplasty is a potentially effective treatment option for patients with contained disc herniation, while the procedure is well tolerated. Increased success rates have been found for percutaneous laser disc decompression and automated percutaneous lumbar discectomy in strictly selected patients. Conclusions: These procedures can be effective and may obviate the need for surgery completely. Further prospective randomized sham-controlled trials with higher quality of evidence are necessary to confirm the efficacy of these procedures.

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