Percutaneous Disc Nucleoplasty Treatment
Percutaneous disc nucleoplasty is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure. You will wear a gown and be positioned lying face down. Your skin in the treatment area will be sterilized and numbed with an anesthetic. You may receive relaxing medication before the procedure.
To begin, your doctor will use a live X-ray image (fluoroscope) to guide a thin tube-like cannula to the bulging disc. Next, a narrow radiofrequency device is inserted through the cannula. The device transmits radio waves that dissolve small areas of the nucleus pulposus. In turn, this creates space for the nucleus’ contents to spread into, reducing pressure in the disc and decreasing the disc bulge. When the procedure is complete, the cannula and radiofrequency devices are removed. Because a tiny incision is required for this procedure, there are no stitches and the insertion point is simply covered with a small bandage.
You should have another person drive you home if you received relaxation medication. Most people need about a day of bed rest following a percutaneous disc nucleoplasty. Physical therapy typically follows the procedure. Recovery from percutaneous disc nucleoplasty is individualized. People typically return to their prior activity levels within one to six weeks.
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