Pulsed radiofrequency therapy with disc lesions

Chronic back pain has many causes: besides facet joint damage and intervertebral disc prolapses, degenerative changes to the intervertebral disc tissue can also trigger chronic pain.

The intervertebral discs are flexible connections between the vertebrae. They comprise two parts:

  • The outer fibrous ring consists of layers of collagenous connective tissue fibres, which inwardly turn into fibrocartilage.
  • The inner nucleus pulposus is a cell-poor, gelatinous tissue with high water content.

In the outer fibrous ring of the intervertebral disc small tears may develop due to wear and tear. In this, during wound healing, soft connective tissue forms, into which the nerves and vessels grow. These sensory nerves can be responsible for persistent pain.

Treatment with intradiscal electrothermal therapy (IDET)

Using coagulation treatment, so-called intradiscal electrothermal therapy (IDET), it is possible to carry out denervation of the pain-sensitive nerve structures that have grown in. In addition, the outer fibrous ring is thus stabilised again.

The procedure is low risk and can be performed on an outpatient basis. Using the sfm radiofrequency/thermolesion needle the fine thermal probe is introduced into the affected part of the outer fibrous ring. Once the probe has been placed exactly, it is heated slowly for 15 minutes and then removed again.

Treatment with pulsed radiofrequency therapy (PFRT)

In addition to classical radiofrequency treatment for thermal lesion of pain transmitting nerves, pain therapists also use pulsed radiofrequency therapy. It is a proven method for the treatment of chronic pain in nerves and joints. The sfm radiofrequency/thermolesion needle can also be used with this tissue-preserving technique. In this the high frequency current is not conducted continuously into the target area, but is administered in short intervals of about 20 milliseconds. A maximum of 40 °C is thus achieved in the target area. This treatment leads not to destruction, but to desensitisation of the affected neural pathways. The preserving technique suppresses stimulus transmission for the duration of a few months up to several years.

Benefits of pulsed radiofrequency using the using the sfm radiofrequency/thermolesion needle

  • Tissue-preserving procedure
  • Low penetration force thanks to optimum bevel geometry and a smooth transition to the coated needle region
  • Minimisation of pain sensation and posttraumatic stress due to the smooth transition to the coated needle
  • Best possible navigation to targeted coagulation thanks to the hub design and its realization
  • Optimum adjustment of the coagulation field thanks to the large number of design variations
  • Treatment can be repeated several times

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