Intradiscal Electrothermal Therapy

Intradiscal Electrothermal Therapy, or IDET, is a minimally invasive back pain treatment procedure used to treat lumbar discogenic pain, or pain caused by a bulging lower back disc. IDET helps reduce nerve impingement and pain caused by a bulging intervertebral disc.

How is Intradiscal Electrothermal Therapy Performed?

Before IDET is performed, discography is performed to detect exactly which disc or discs are causing pain. The procedure is performed most commonly on patients with one identified disc as the cause of their back pain. The IDET procedure involves passing a flexible catheter through a hollow needle into the painful disc guided by fluoroscopy, or live x-ray. Wires inside the catheter then heat the disc wall to 90°C, toughening and desensitizing the disc. The purpose of the heat is to burn the nerve fibers and toughen the disc tissue, sealing any small tears.

What should be expected?

Patients are given a back support, or brace, to wear for several weeks. Twisting movement and heavy-lifting should be avoided after the procedure. It is normal if patients experience increased pain in the initial days after the IDET. In rare instances, complications may include: infection, nerve damage or disc damage. Recovery after the procedure occurs gradually, beginning with physical therapy to reduce pain, increase flexibility and build strength. Moderate activity such as walking and light stretching is recommended.

If you need an evaluation or consultation or are interested in Intradiscal Electrothermal Therapy, please contact us at (201) 729-0001 and ask for one of our specialists. Our conveniently located clinics are in West OrangeAberdeenClifton, and Lyndhurst. We offer weekday and weekend appointments.