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[Percutaneous laser disc decompression: an experimental study]

The discs of 15 fresh human cadaveric spines (L1-S1) were radiated with Nd: YAG laser energies varying from 1000 to 3000J in 5 groups. The volume ablation rates, changes in intradisc pressure, and changes, in temperature at four important sites around the disc were measured during the laser radiation. The ablated volume was significantly greater at higher radiating energies. There was a significant decrease in the intradisc pressure after ablation of nucleus pulposus tissue. The increase in temperature of adjacent tissue was very low, not exceeding 3 degrees C. The results of this study provide a basis for the use of lasers in percutaneous lumbar discectomy, and in clinical practice in the future

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