Do you suffer from degenerative disc disease?
If you suffer from any of the following symptoms, you may be showing signs of degernative disc disease and an eligible recipient of the DISC procedure:
- Tenderness and pain in the lower back
- Numbness, weakness, or pain in the buttocks, hips, and/or back of the leg
- A feeling of sudden weakness or instability
- Pain with sitting
- Exacerbated pain with bending or twisting
- Pain relief when walking or changing positions
How can discs degenerate?
Intervertebral discs can deteriorate through normal aging and injury, causing dehydration, flattening, and loss of natural cushioning. Just like grapes lose water over time and turn into raisins, your intervertebral discs undergo a similar dehydration process. This process leaves your discs vulnerable to motion stress, strains your spinal nerves, and can result in lower back pain.
What is the DISC procedure?
The DISC procedure is intended for use as an allograft to supplement degenerated intervertebral discs. An allograft is tissue recovered from a human cadaveric donor that is transferred to a human recipient. The allograft tissue consists of dehydrated nucleus pulposus particulate, which is tissue that is taken from the inner core of the vertebral disc of the donor. The tissue is mixed with saline and delivered into your intervertebral disc during a non-surgical procedure. Biologics-based plasma may also be used. This plasma is created by taking a small amount of your own blood, processing it to concentrate the platelets, and then injecting this platelet-rich plasma back into your body.
How is the DISC procedure performed?
The DISC procedure can be performed under local anesthesia, or moderate sedation may be recommended by your physician. During the procedure, your physician will use fluoroscopy (a continuous live X-ray imaging to guide the tip of the needle during treatment) to insert a needle through the skin and muscle into the center of the intervertebral disc. The donor tissue or biologics-based plasma will slowly be delivered into the center of the intervertebral disc. Your provider will determine which method is best suited for your unique needs.
What to expect after the procedure
You may experience pain and soreness after the procedure, which is normal. This pain may be due to increased pressure within your intervertebral disc. You may be instructed to keep your activity to the normal activities of daily life and limit physical or strenuous activity for 72 hours post-procedure.
Your physician may prescribe certain pain medications (e.g. analgesics, steroid dose pack, muscle relaxants). You may experience moderate to severe pain after an injection into an intervertebral disc, and oral medications may be needed promptly to treat this post injection pain and discomfort. An ice pack may be given to place over the injection site in the event of post-injection site discomfort. Your physician may suggest a back brace or recommend physical therapy to make you feel more comfortable following your procedure.
A follow-up appointment will typically be scheduled two to four weeks after the procedure to monitor your pain and comfort. Additional follow-up appointments may be scheduled at the discretion of your physician to assess your condition.