What is a Percutaneous Intradiscal Fusion?
Endoscopic Intradiscal Fusion can be used to stabilise the grossly unstable disc segments which appear to be too damaged to allow disc reconstruction (Bionucleoplasty). In those cases for instance with multiple level disc degeneration in which the lowest level has gross soft tissue laxity and instability, it may be better to fuse the lowest level and to reconstruct the less damaged levels above. These upper reconstruction's can then function on a stable base.
These fusion's are effected after an extensive Endoscopic Laser Decompression & Foraminoplasty & flexible endoscopic intradiscal discectomy Thereafter height is restored hydraulically, the endplate is breached, stabilising stents are inserted together with bone graft.
When to Accept a Percutaneous Intradiscal Fusion?
In cases of bilateral nerve root compression and when hydraulic discography clears the nerve root entrapment symptoms but does not sufficiently clear the back pain then a percutaneous fusion should be considered.
It may need to be supplemented with cryogenic rhizotomies to the facet joints. In this form, this technique is pending introduction in to man.