What is percutaneous discectomy?
Percutaneous discectomy, also known as Dekompressor (Stryker), is a non-surgical, effective treatment for chronic back and neck pain associated with herniated disc disease. Percutaneous discectomy may decrease pain, increase mobility, and eliminate the need for traditional surgical interventions. This treatment is designed to correct the underlying problem, not just relieve the symptoms.
Who is a good candidate for percutaneous discectomy?
Those who suffer from chronic back pain due to disc herniation that has not responded to conservative treatment methods (such as ice, heat, physical therapy, and analgesic and anti-inflammatory medication) may be good candidates for percutaneous discectomy.
How percutaneous discectomy works
Percutaneous discectomy uses a single-use probe called the “Stryker Dekompressor” which is placed under X-ray guidance. You will be pre-treated with a sedative that will help you to relax, but you will remain awake for the procedure. Before the treatment begins, you will be comfortably positioned on your stomach with your knees supported on the table.
Your physician will inject a local anesthetic with a small needle to numb the area. Once the area is numb, a larger needle is placed into the affected disc with X-ray guidance. The probe is placed through this needle, and the procedure is initiated. You may feel pressure during this part of the procedure but should not experience pain. The Dekompressor uses a pump method to remove excessive disc material from bulging or contained herniated discs, thus reducing pressure in the disc and providing pain relief.
Are there risks?
As with all medications and surgical procedures, there is always a risk of complications. The most common complaint is mild back pain at the injection site shortly after the procedure. Other more serious (but far less common) complications include spinal cord compression, excessive intracranial pressure, bleeding, hematoma, or infection. These particular risks are decreased by the use of X-ray and sterile techniques.