Bulging Disc Herniation (Contained Disc Herniation)
Elliquence Disc-FX® System
Treating Contained Disc Herniations (Bulging Disc)
Patients with contained disc herniations are commonly treated with conservative care including rest, medications, injections and/or physical therapy. Unfortunately, this does not always provide relief. Patients who do not respond to conservative care may be advised by their Dr to consider a traditional open spine surgery which can have some significant post-surgical challenges. Full recovery may take weeks or months causing a major disruption in their daily lives. However, when a Dr elects to use Disc-FX® to perform the least invasive, minimal access procedure, it will be done on an out-patient basis and the patient will go home the same day with only a small bandage on their back. Disc-FX® tools are uniquely designed to allow physicians to “sneak” into the disc using a tiny tube and remove the offending herniation using tiny graspers and the patented steerable bipolar probe called the Trigger-Flex® to reduce the bulge in the disc and seal the tears in the disc wall (annulus) caused by the bulge. As a result, pressure in the disc is reduced, which eases the symptoms.
Who is a Candidate for Disc-FX?
Patients with symptomatic, contained lumbar (lower back) disc herniations that have not responded to conservative treatment. Typical signs of a contained lumbar disc herniation in lumbar spine is lower back pain or pain radiating down the leg. Disc-FX® may not be beneficial for advanced degenerative disc disease or spinal fractures. Your doctor will evaluate and determine if you are a candidate for Disc-FX®.
Potential Benefits of the Procedure:
- Out-patient procedure
- Short procedure time
- Local Anesthetic
- Minor Skin Incision
- Minimal Access Procedure
- Multiple Treatment Options
- Quick Relief of Symptoms
- Can Treat Multiple Disc Levels
- Earlier return to normal activities
- Preserves all additional future surgical options
Prior to the Procedure
Medical evaluation includes a physical exam. Diagnostic tests such as MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), steroid injection, or discography may be conducted to diagnose and locate the symptomatic disc herniation and determine if the procedure is appropriate.
During the Procedure
The Disc-FX® System requires the patient to lie on their stomach throughout the procedure. Minimal anesthesia requirements are typically necessary. A needle is inserted into the skin near the affected disc level, followed by an incision through which a working ‘tube’ is placed. Graspers are used to manually remove and decompress the offending herniation. The patented Trigger-Flex® can then be used to help clean the disc and seal tears in the annulus. At the conclusion of the procedure, the ‘tube’ is removed and a small bandage is applied over the sutures.
After the Procedure
Patients are required to remain at the facility after the procedure for observation which is typically one to two hours. Upon release, patients are then informed to rest for one to three days with limited sitting or walking. In most cases, symptoms caused by the disc herniation are gone or diminished within two weeks. A patient may experience some discomfort or bruising where the incision was created. After about one week, patients participate in physical therapy which is important for a full recovery. They are typically allowed to engage in some physical activity and return to work. Your physician will provide a comprehensive recovery schedule. (There may be variations depending on the physician).
Are there any complications with the Procedure?
As with any other minimally invasive disc treatments, side effects of Disc-FX® are relatively rare and should be discussed with your physician.