Comp Clues



By Claudia Dawson, IWCI Comp Clues Coordinator
| Date: 05/01/2008

This article is from an advertisement from the website.  It is a new procedure that is being introduced to the Indianapolis area by Dr. Scott Taylor and Integra Health Care.

There are some seminars scheduled on this topic in the near future.   Most of us have probably not heard of this before, if you are like me.   Stay tuned for more information.

Plasma Disc Decompression is an option for those people who have failed conservative care, and in many cases provides an alternative to more invasive open surgery. It is a minimally invasive procedure that allows you to go home on the same day of the procedure.

The procedure is performed under x-ray guidance to accurately place a surgical port (passage way) into the disc. Using this minimally invasive approach, a small pathway is made into the disc and a precisely engineered device, known as a SpineWand® surgical device, is then inserted through the surgical port into the center of the disc. The device utilizes Coblation technology to dissolve tissue while preserving nearby healthy tissue.

The removal of nucleus tissue relieves pressure on the protective ring around the disc or annulus, typically allowing the bulge to recede, so that the disc no longer irritates the nearby nerve root. Normally, the entire procedure takes less than an hour, and the patient can leave the medical facility one to two hours later, with no overnight hospital stay required.

Plasma Disc Decompression is recognized by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) and the SpineWand devices used in the procedure have been cleared by the FDA for ablation, coagulation and decompression of disc material to treat symptomatic patients with contained herniated discs. The plasma technology used in the Plasma Disc Decompression procedure (known as Coblation), was developed by ArthroCare and has been used successfully for more than 10 years in over 4.5 million procedures, including knee, shoulder, and ear nose and throat surgery. The difference between Plasma Disc Decompression and other methods of disc decompression is found in ArthroCare’s unique Coblation® technology which enables tissue to be removed quickly and efficiently, without damaging nearby healthy tissue.

Why choose Plasma Disc Decompression

Plasma Disc Decompression allows for controlled tissue removal. This minimizes the possibility of removing too much tissue or tissue beyond the targeted area which can lead to disc degeneration. The procedure does not rely on heat for tissue removal, and does not introduce excessive heat that may cause tissue damage. A minimally invasive approach using only a small needle (1mm or 1/20th inch) to access the disc is used, which minimizes scarring or annular disc damage that may be caused by larger or more aggressive devices.

Plasma Disc Decompression has successfully become a leading method for performing minimally invasive disc decompression and is a leading choice for physicians around the world.

Procedure Day

Here’s what to expect on the day of your procedure:*

  • You will be directed to an exam or changing room.
  • An IV may be started to administer medications.
  • Prescriptions, MRI’s, and X-rays and reports will be reviewed with you along with the steps of the procedure.
  • You will lie down on a procedure table as directed by your health care personnel.
  • The procedure will be performed under anesthesia or sedation medications as directed by your physician.
  • You will be lead to a recovery area after the procedure.
  • Prescriptions for post-procedure therapy, medications, and follow-up instructions will be reviewed with you by a member of the health care staff or your physician. After the procedure you will remain in the recovery area for observation typically for one to two hours.
  • Generally patients are released to rest for one to three days with limited sitting or walking.
  • After about one week, patients participate in physical therapy to assist with full recovery.
  • Patients are typically allowed to engage in some physical activity and return to work.

* Steps may vary depending on physician and location.