Treatment of Herniated Disc
What is lumbago – Sciatica
Lumbago or most commonly known “backache” is the pain we feel at the area of the lumbar spine just a little over the posterior part of the pelvis and the sacrum bone and can be accompanied by sciatica namely the pain we feel in the rumps and along the lower limb (anterior, lateral or posterior).
80% of Mediterranean populations suffer at least once in their life from backache while in the United States backache is the most frequent cause of absence from work in people under 45 years old.
Lumbago – Sciatica causes
The pain is caused due to the compression of the neural structures of the lumbar spine and the most common benign compression cause is the hernia of the intervertebral disc.
The intervertebral disc has a fundamental dynamic operation as a suspension between the vertebrae and helps to make the spinal cord partially flexible.
The intervertebral disc consists of an external solid part which is named fibrous ring, and an internal part with high concentration in water which is named pulpy nucleus.
The solid hard ring surrounds and holds the pulpy elastic nucleus.
The hernia of the intervertebral disc is the result of the disc’s degeneration where the nucleus gradually loses its elasticity due to inflammatory phenomena with simultaneous change of distribution of the forces within the nucleus and gradual loosening of the peripheral ring.
Thus a protrusion is created or with simple words a “small bulge” of various dimensions which compresses the neural structures with simultaneous release of inflammatory substances and therefore causes pain in the back (lumbago) which sometimes can be extended to the thigh, calf and leg (sciatica).
The predisposing factors which contribute to the creation of the hernia of the intervertebral disc are the quality of the disc, sedentary work, lack of physical exercise, work with great physical strain, obesity and injuries while it is true that anyone can be affected by this condition: young and older people, men and women.
For the treatment we must always keep in mind that the body is the most powerful therapeutic tool.
Depending on the hernia’s grade and the patient’s symptoms there are various treatment protocols:
Conservative management: which is the first option and includes the medical treatment and physiotherapy remediation aiming to reduce and eliminate symptoms without though the recession of the hernia.
Surgical treatment: each spinal surgeon applies the technique that he/she knows and trusts the most with the possible complications and with relapse potential, namely re-appearance of the hernia, which in various studies varies from 15 to 25%. The surgery’s aim is to reduce and eliminate symptoms along with the recession of the hernia.
If the conservative treatment does not produce the desired results and the patient does not wish the surgery or does not belong to this category of patients then we recommend the Bloodless Micro-invasive treatment of hernia based on the Chemical Modulation of Intervertebral Disc under the guidance of the CT Scanner.
The micro invasive treatment of the hernia of the intervertebral disc does not require general anesthesia or sedation.
The patient lies face down on the CT scanner bed (with the abdomen facing down) and with scanning of very thin sections of the lumbar spine we detect in the skin the entry point of a very thin puncture needle. In the following stages the needle with local anesthesia enters painlessly the subcutaneous layers and with regular monitoring by the CT scanner we reach the discs nucleus.
There and as soon as it is confirmed that the needle has reached the desired point a small amount of a gaseous mixture of oxygen and ozone is applied.
Ozone has the ability to partially dehydrate the hernia with gradual reduction of its size and accompanying decompression of the neural root, allowing the reduction of symptoms.
Moreover with the same needle and always with the guidance of the CT scanner we infuse the special mixture of gases around the neural root without contacting it, therefore without the risk of its injury due to the constant monitoring-guidance by the CT scanner.
The patient usually starts to feel the improvement of symptoms already within a few hours from the treatment and is improved day by day.
The scientific bibliography and our statistics in more than 5000 patients so far show that more than 85-90% of patients presented full elimination of pain and a gradual recovery of their function.The treatment can be repeated if required and without complications.
Centers for the treatment
Athens, Greece: Iatriko Athens: Clinic of Paleo Faliro
Rome, Italy: Villa Sandra Clinic