Disc degeneration occurs mainly in adulthood and can generate several degrees of pain that in some cases can be disabling, having an important impact on the quality of life, both at the family and work levels. Due to this, it carries an economic cost for companies and for the public health system.
Sciatica is particularly painful and is one of the most severe types of pain that can cause suffering.
The most frequent and characteristic radicular pain is produced by the herniated discs that appear with greater frequency in the lumbar region.
The treatment depends on the cause of the pain and there are different therapeutic options, from conservative to more or less invasive surgical interventions. Among the latter is nucleolysis or percutaneous laser disc decompression (PLDD), which consists in the percutaneous approach of the intervertebral disc for performing the denaturation, by vaporization, of the nucleus pulposus using laser energy.
Laser Disc Surgery is a very safe procedure when performed by experts with proper training and experience.
In the lumbar region, pain reduction has been observed in 60-89% of patients operated by PLDD; however, it is necessary to emphasize the high percentage of failure of the technique, which sometimes requires that up to 38% of successfully treated patients may still end up requiring conventional surgery.
In the cervical and thoracic location, an improvement of the symptoms is indicated between 54.5-83% at 24 months of follow-up.
Complications of PLDD
Although PLDD is a minimally invasive treatment, it does not mean that complications cannot emerge, studies of the lumbar region report the appearance of muscle spasm (7.7%), sacroiliac inflammation (4.5%), transient nerve root damage (5%), recurrences (1.5%) and discitis (1.2%).
In addition, bleeding, bruising, new-onset root deficit and damage to the sigmoid artery have also been observed. These complications are however very rare.
You can read more here: Complications of Laser Disc Surgery
At the Harley Street Hospital, we have specialists who have considerable experience in Laser Disc Surgery.