This paper describes discolysis by intradiscal, periganglionic and periradicular oxygen-ozone (O(2)-O(3)) injection, a minimally invasive percutaneous technique for the treatment of lumbar disk herniation.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
From June 2000 to December 2006, we performed O(2)-O(3) chemonucleolysis procedures in 2,900 patients affected by lumbar disk herniation. Patients were selected on the basis of clinical, psychological, neurological and neuroradiological criteria. Exclusion criteria were extruded hernia and/or free disc fragments, hyperalgesic-paralysing sciatica and progressive neurological impairment of the affected limb. All percutaneous treatments were performed under computed tomography (CT) guidance. All patients were evaluated after 1 month, and those showing only partial success were scheduled for a second treatment session.
Results were evaluated with the modified MacNab classification, the visual analogue scale and the Oswestry Disability Index at 6 and 12 months. Success rates were 75%-80% for soft disc herniation, 70% for multiple-disc herniations and 55% for failed back surgery syndrome. None of the patients suffered early or late neurological or infectious complications.
According to our data, minimally invasive percutaneous treatment by intradiscal, periradicular or periganglionic O(2)-O(3) infiltration is a valuable and competitive technique that provides excellent results at low cost and without complications.