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Alternatives to Spinal Surgery Part 1: IDET

Tuesday, April 23, 2002 | 839 | 0 | min read

This is the first of a series of articles on Non-Invasive Surgical Alternatives for the Treatment of Low Back Pain by Dr. Michael Minehart.

Chronic Low Back pain changes you and your life. Many of my patients are either left with the decision to live in chronic pain or undergo spinal fusion surgery in an effort to remove the disrupted disc and establish a new more stable foundation.

Recent research has pinpointed the lumber disc as the pain source in the majority of patients suffering with chronic low back pain. As the discs begin to degenerate they lose the water content from the gel-like nucleus found in the center of the disc called the nucleus. As the nucleus loses water, the wall of the disc, or the annulus, begins to bulge. The bulging annulus is weakened and can become torn either due to a specific injury such as bending or twisting, or from the cumulative trauma of daily life.

When the annulus tears it causes pain. The body attempts to heal the tears by sending small blood vessels to the site that carry small nerve fibers. Due to the lack of an adequate blood supply the healing process fails. The disc becomes a pain source.

Pain is generated whenever the disc is asked to perform work


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