Sciatica has become a common problem, recording yearly incidence rates of 5 for every 1000. It is caused by intervertebral disc herniation. Between 60% and 80% of Sciatica patients who are experiencing the first radicular pain episode, the symptoms will recede to non-disabling levels in only 6 weeks. However, if you just read more, you will know that the remaining portion of patients will require surgical intervention. The lumber disc surgery has been highly effective but the considerable convalescence period and morbidity has occasioned massive researches on possibility of using less-invasive treatment methods.
One such surgical procedure for dealing with Sciatica that is classified as minimally invasive is the per-cutaneous spine-disc laser surgery (also called PLDD). The treatment is conducted percutaneously, lowering the convalescence period and reducing the morbidity rates to greater levels than conventional surgery procedures. Since the procedure is minimally invasive, patients usually return to work in a few days following treatment. This fact makes PLDD an exciting alternative to the conventional surgery procedures.
How old is the spine-disc laser surgery? The idea of employing laser in the therapy of lumbar disc herniation first sprung up in early 1980s. By 1986, it entered the human treatment cycle after several in vitro trials. In 1991, it was approved by the FDA and had been performed on at least 35,000 people worldwide by 2002.
The PLDD treatment is based on a theory that intervertebral discs are enclosed like hydraulic systems. The intervertebral disc system is considered to be consisting of a nucleus pulposus that has massive amounts of water and is surrounded by inelastic annulus fibrosus. It is also important that you will know here at this weblink that when water increases in the nucleus pulposus, a disproportionate rise in size and in turn an increase in intra-diskal pressure results while decreases in the nucleus pulposus cause massively large decreases in intra-diskal pressure leading to radicular pains that usually accompany lumbar herniation. PLDD applies laser energy to ensure that water is evaporated outside the nucleus pulposus.