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Pain Management Procedures

Percutaneous Disk Decompression

Percutaneous disc decompression is a technique used to relieve disc herniation, thereby treating pain issues associated with disc herniation. The removal of tissue from the nucleus of a disc results in a reduction of pressure inside the disc. This reduction of pressure results in the relief of pressure the disc exerted on the spinal cord and nerve roots.
There are various forms of disc decompression. At the Minimally Invasive Pain Institute, our trained pain management physicians perform percutaneous disc decompression. This technique utilizes a minimally needle or invasive catheter. Percutaneous disc decompression minimizes the opening necessary for the procedure allows for faster recovery compared to traditional open surgical techniques.


  • Percutaneous disc decompression is performed in one of our state of the art procedure by using x-ray imaging and fluoroscopy (similar to x-ray).
  • For your safety and comfort, the physician or nurse may start an intravenous line and give some medication to help you relax.
  • You may be given an antibiotic to minimize the risk of infection.
  • If you are undergoing a lumbar (low back) disc decompression, you will lie on your stomach for the procedure. If you are undergoing a cervical (neck) disc decompression, you will lie on your back.
  • The area where the needles will be inserted will be thoroughly cleansed with an antiseptic solution.
  • The physician will then inject some numbing medication.
  • After the numbing medication takes effect, a catheter will be inserted though the skin into the disc space.
  • During the procedure, the physician will use and x-ray machine (fluoroscope) connected to a TV monitor and x-rays may be taken at this time.
  • The physician will use fluoroscopic guidance to verify proper placement of the needle.
  • The physician will then inject the center of the discs of the spine with contrast dye.
  • The contrast dye is visible using the fluoroscope.
  • The catheter will create a pathway into the disc approximately one-millimeter in size.
  • A transmitter is then introduced into the disc – this transmitter emits radio waves into the disc nucleus, producing energy that fragments the herniation and removes tissue volume.
  • When the procedure is complete, the transmitter and catheter are removed. 

How does it Work?
A small transmitter is introduced into the disc nucleus. This transmitter sends radio waves into the disc nucleus, producing energy that fragments the herniation and removes tissue volume.

After the Procedure
You will be unable to drive for the remainder of the day following the percutaneous disc decompression. It is best to have someone else drive you home and accompany you to your home. This person should also be available to you should you require assistance at any time after your procedure.

For a better understanding of interventional pain treatment services, contact the healthcare professionals at Minimally Invasive Pain Institute.  They can help customize a treatment for you and your acute or chronic pain condition. To find out if you are a good candidate, or for more information on this and other pain treatment services, read on or contact our pain management center.  Together, we’ll help you find the relief you need for the quality of life you deserve.