Home > Health Library > Intradiscal Electrothermal Therapy (IDET)
Intradiscal electrothermal therapy (IDET) is a minimally invasive treatment for
low back pain caused by a spinal disc problem. Using "live" X-ray imaging
(fluoroscopy), a doctor inserts a hollow needle containing a flexible tube
(catheter) and heating element into the spinal disc. The catheter is positioned
in a circle in the outer layer (annulus) of the disc and is then slowly heated. The heat
is meant to destroy the nerve fibers and toughen the disc tissue, sealing any
IDET procedure, you are given a
sedative and a
Antibiotics, either given in a vein (intravenous) or
injected into the disc, are used to prevent a disc infection.
Possible risks include nerve damage, disc
damage, and disc infection.
There is no proof that this treatment works, and most experts do not recommend it. If you are considering IDET, be sure that you are a good candidate
for the procedure and that the doctor doing the procedure is well trained
and experienced. If you are unsure about whether IDET is right for you,
consider getting a
Current as of:
May 22, 2015
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & Robert B. Keller, MD - Orthopedics
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