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Clinical and Radiological Improvement Following Ozone Disc Nucleolysis: A Case Report. – PubMed


The results of traditional open surgery for herniated intervertebral disc are often limited by complications and failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS). Over the past few decades, a considerable amount of research has been done in the field of minimally invasive procedures as a treatment option for herniated intervertebral disc disease. Ozone disc nucleolysis is one such procedure which has results equal to or better than traditional surgery with virtually no complications. A 27-year-old post-partum female presented to the clinic with acute onset of severe lower back pain radiating to the left lower limb for one month. The pain started suddenly during labor and gradually increased over a period of few weeks post-partum. A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan showed a large herniated disc bulge at the L4-L5 level causing severe radiculopathy. There was no bladder or bowel involvement. The patient was managed conservatively for three weeks. However, she failed to show any signs of improvement. She opted to undergo ozone disc nucleolysis under local anaesthesia. She showed significant improvement immediately after the procedure and there was further improvement in symptoms over a period of six weeks. Post-procedure follow-up at three months and six months showed significant improvement on the visual analogue scale (VAS), which was used to measure pain intensity and pain affect, along with the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), which was used to measure the degree of disability due to the lower back pain. Her VAS score improved from nine to two at three months and finally to one at six months, whereas the ODI score improved significantly from 46 to 10 at three months and eventually to four at six months. Ozone disc nucleolysis is an efficacious, safe, durable, and cost-effective treatment option for mild to moderate cases of herniated intervertebral disc which are resistant to conservative management. However, randomized control trials are required to build a long-term database regarding the efficacy and durability of ozone disc nucleolysis as compared to other minimally invasive procedures and surgery. We strongly believe that the availability of long-term data on ozone disc nucleolysis would make it a more acceptable form of treatment for disc herniation as compared to traditional surgery.


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