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Ozone-augmented percutaneous discectomy: a novel treatment option for refractory discogenic sciatica

AIM: To assess the short and medium-term efficacy and safety of a novel, minimally invasive therapeutic option combining automated percutaneous lumbar discectomy, intradiscal ozone injection, and caudal epidural: ozone-augmented percutaneous discectomy (OPLD). MATERIALS AND METHODS: One hundred and forty-seven patients with a clinical and radiological diagnosis of discogenic sciatica who were refractory to initial therapy were included. Fifty patients underwent OPLD whilst 97 underwent a further caudal epidural. Outcomes were evaluated using McNab’s score, improvement in visual analogue score (VAS) pain score, and requirement for further intervention. Follow-up occurred at 1 and 6 months, and comparison was made between groups. RESULTS: OPLD achieved successful outcomes in almost three-quarters of patients in the short and medium term. OPLD achieved superior outcomes at 1 and 6 months compared to caudal epidural. There was a reduced requirement for further intervention in the OPLD group. No significant complications occurred in either group. DISCUSSION: OPLD is a safe and effective treatment for patients with refractory discogenic sciatica in the short and medium term. OPLD has the potential to offer an alternative second-line minimally invasive treatment option that could reduce the requirement for surgery in this patient cohort

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