Percutaneous Discectomy

Percutaneous Discectomy

Percutaneous discectomy is a minimally invasive medical procedure used to reduce the pain, irritation, and discomfort associated with a herniated or bulging disc. The procedure works by using a tiny probe to remove small amounts of the disc nucleus, creating space in the spine that allows the disc to “reabsorb” the ruptured portion and relieves the pressure on the affected nerve.

When is Percutaneous Discectomy Used?

Percutaneous discectomy is typically recommended for those who have not been successful with traditional treatments for a herniated or bulging disc, including pain medication, physical therapy, and nerve blocking injections.  In most cases, and due to the relatively small size of the disc herniation, most patients opting for this procedure are not eligible for surgery.
Percutaneous discectomy may also be recommended if:

  • The bulging disc hasn’t ruptured into the spinal column.
  • Pain, inflammation, irritation and nerve damage have not improved after 6 or more weeks of continuous non-surgical treatment.
  • Your symptoms become progressively worse and/or prevent you from carrying out normal daily activities, such as walking, dressing, and caring for yourself.
  • Symptoms indicate serious nerve damage and include weakness, loss of sensation, and loss of balance or coordination in the legs.
  • The patient has decreased mobility resulting from various degenerative diseases, including osteoporosis.

How is Percutaneous Discectomy Performed?

Percutaneous discectomy is performed in an outpatient setting and under local anaesthesia or light sedative; the procedure typically takes about an hour from start to finish.
Using a small needle designed to reach the affected disc, percutaneous discectomy eliminates the need for large incisions and more invasive surgical procedures. Once the needle has been inserted in the proper location, your doctor will insert a probe with a rotating tip through the needle.
Radio waves or heat are then used to create space in the disc, removing small portions of the disc that are responsible for causing increased pressure on the affective nerve. Patients will experience nearly immediate pain relief as pressure is relieved from the nerve.

What are the Risks Associated with Percutaneous Discectomy?

Percutaneous discectomy is considered to be an extremely safe procedure, however, as with any medical procedure, there are risks associated with it. The most commonly reported risk/side effect of this procedure is post-procedure pain and tenderness at the injection site.

How Effective is Percutaneous Discectomy?

Research continues to indicate that percutaneous discectomy is very effective in reducing pain associated with back and neck pain and improving the patient’ function in nearly 90% of patients undergoing the procedure.

Dr.Raju Mantena
Dr. Raju Mantena is an anesthesiologist and pain specialist based in the Houston area and has over 15 years of medical experience which he relies upon each day to successfully treat his patients’ acute and chronic pain.

At 360 Pain Treatment, our mission is to provide compassionate pain relief, restore prior function and activity levels, and optimize the quality of life for all.


360 Pain Treatment aspires to create a culture of care in our communities by helping those suffering with pain to live more pain-free and thus improving their quality of life.

  • Compassion for all who are ailing and in need of help.
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