What is a disc herniation?
The bones in the spine are separated by discs that allow the spine to move and absorb forces born by the spine. The disc is like a jelly doughnut with a tough outer shell (the annulus). If the disc ruptures, then the jelly (the nucleus) can move through the rupture and press on the nerve that goes to the leg. This is why patients with herniated discs often have leg pain.
How is it treated?
Often times the herniation will heal on its own within the first few weeks after the injury. A person with a disc herniation may be prescribed pain medication and physical therapy in the weeks following the injury. If the pain continues beyond 4-8 weeks, steroid injections may be offered. These injections often combine an anesthetic with the steroid, both injected to the area around the compressed nerve. The anesthetic will temporarily numb the pain and the steroid will reduce inflammation. These injections do not affect the disc herniation itself and their effect is often temporary. The average patient receives 2-3 injections over a 4-8 week period. If steroid injections do not have a satisfactory benefit, the patient can opt to have surgery or manage their pain with medication. Surgery will involve a small incision through the back muscles to approach the spine so that the surgeon can remove the herniation.
Outside the United States, physicians have injected ozone gas directly into the herniated disc with good results. The gas fills the disc and then infiltrates out through the herniation. Research indicates that this procedure is capable of shrinking the size of the disc herniation to relieve pressure and also reduce inflammation. The literature suggests the treatment can have a lasting effect with a single injection.
Triojection is the only system producing and measuring a precise concentration of gas inside a sterile syringe. This gives greater confidence in the safety and reliability in the procedure.
Currently, Triojection is only available at select sites in Europe.
Intradiscal ozone injections are not yet approved for use in the US.
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