Intradiscal Electrothermal Annuloplasty (IDET)
Based on your symptoms and the result of your discogram, your doctor believes you may have a crack or fissure in your disc. There are many treatments for painful discs such as medicines, surgery, and intradiscal procedures such as IDET.
We are not completely sure how IDET works. We do know that IDET lessens pain from a fissured disc. IDET heats and stiffens the disc and burns the painful nerve fibers that have grown into the disc. We think IDET will also seal the fissure or crack in the disc. We are not sure if the cracks/fissures totally heal.
How IDET is done
IDET is done in the same way as a discogram. Numbing medicine and IV sedation are used to make you as comfortable as possible. Using X-ray, your doctor guides a needle into the disc. Then a special catheter is positioned carefully in the disc. Once the catheter is in place, your doctor hooks it up to the IDET machine. The catheter heats up. You may feel mild pain or your usual back pain during this time. Each heating cycle takes about 20 minutes. Your doctor may need to do more than one heating cycle per disc. The whole procedure can take 2-3 hours. After the procedure you go to the recovery room.
Preparing for IDET
Getting ready for IDET is the same as getting ready for a discogram, with a few more things to do. Before your IDET, you will need to visit:
- a physical therapist to plan your recovery.
- an occupational therapist to learn how to move safely.
- the orthotics department to be fitted for a special brace.
The Pain Clinic staff will help you set up these visits.
Because medicine given to relax you during the procedure can affect your judgment, you should not make important decisions until the next day.
You will go home about 1-2 hours after your IDET. You will need someone to drive you home. Before you go home, the staff will help you get your brace on. You will wear this brace at all times for 8 weeks after IDET. It is to protect your back. You may take the brace off to shower and when you sleep.
You should not shower for at least 48 hours. Do not take tub baths or soak in pools or hot tubs for at least one week.
You may take your usual medicines after IDET.
In the first 1-2 weeks after IDET, you may have an increase in your pain. You should rest, use ice, and take your pain medicines. Your doctor will tell you how to take your medicines. Check with your doctor before you make any medicine changes.
You should take it easy when you go home. The first week limit your activities and rest often. Short walks (10-15 minutes) are fine, but no housework, lifting, or bending. You should try to change positions often to avoid sore, stiff muscles. Many people prefer to sit in a recliner.
Do not expect to feel better right away. 60-70% of people who have IDET get relief from their pain. Full recovery takes 6 to 12 months. Most people will start to see improvement in 6 weeks to 3 months.
To protect your back, do not take long car rides for the first 8 weeks. You must wear your brace while in the car.
Discuss your plans to return to work with your doctor. Your doctor will talk with you about your limits.
You will begin physical therapy in about 8 weeks. This will help your muscles stay strong and flexible, and it will help to decrease your pain.
Call your doctor right away if you notice: fever, rash, numbness, swelling at the injection site.
If you have any questions about IDET, please call UW Pain Clinic at (608) 263-9550
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 01/30/2013
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