Features January 2003 Issue

IDET: New Hope For Back Pain

This electrothermal repair may soon replace spinal fusion

Nearly 50 percent of lower back pain is related to disc problems. Though discs sometimes cause pain by bulging out and irritating nerves entering the spinal column, at other times the pain comes from discs that simply dry out and begin to crack with age, leaving the nerves within the disc exposed and irritated. IDET—or intradiscal electrothermal therapy— is a new procedure in which a wire is inserted into the affected disc and then heated…

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