Are There New Treatments for Sciatica?

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Now there are some unproven minimally-invasive procedures that may help treating sciatica known as Radiofrequency Discal Procedures. One type of Radiofrequency Discal Procedure is Nucleoplasty, which involves inserting a very thin needle into the disc, and the needle is inserted through with a special radiofrequency probe rather than using a heating wire (as was previously done in a technique known as Intradiscal Electrothermoplasty, or IDET). A highly focused plasma field with enough energy will be generated by the probe to break up the molecular bonds of the gel in the nucleus, thus removing 10-20% of the nucleus to decompress the disc and reducing the pressure both on the disc and the surrounding nerve roots. This technique may be beneficial for sciatic pain than the IDET since nucleoplasty can actually reduce the disc bulge that is pressing on a nerve root. The high-energy plasma field is actually generated at relatively low temperatures, minimizing the danger to surrounding tissues. Another procedure is Intradiscal Biacuplasty (IDB), an advanced type of radiofrequency ablation that also treats discs from the inside. It is currently the technique with the most interest and support in the research literature, but there is certainly concern about intradiscal procedures. Some research has shown that although needle puncture of the disc can enhance and hasten disc degeneration, the risk-benefit for these procedure remains unclear. These new technologies do offer the possibility of treating sciatica with much less trauma and risk than surgery, but it's important to remember that they are still unproven technologies. Please consult your doctor before you trying any of these technologies. Keyword: new sciatica treatment