FAQs on Disc Injection in Las Vegas & Henderson NV

 

Intervertebral discs lie between each vertebra (bone) of the spine. A disc injection is done to relieve discogenic (disc-related) pain that occurs from degenerative disc disease and other conditions. A corticosteroid substance is commonly used for the injection, which is effective for reducing inflammation.

What is the purpose of intervertebral discs?

Intervertebral discs act as shock absorbers when a person moves, lifts, walks, or sits. The tough, fibrous outer layer is called the annulus fibrosus, and the soft inner gel-like center is called the nucleus pulposus.

What conditions are treated with a disc injection?

Disc injections are used to treat degenerative disc disease mostly. With this condition, the intervertebral discs loose fluid content and flexibility due to wear-and-tear, age, and/or injury. As the disc height decreases, the spinal column bony prominences put pressure on spinal nerves that exit the spinal cord. This leads to pain and other symptoms.

What should I expect before the intradiscal injection?

When you arrive for the procedure, a nurse will discuss the pros and cons of the procedure, and ask you to sign an informed consent form. After you change into a gown, the nurse starts an IV line in your arm to administer sedatives, fluids, and other necessary medications. Be sure to have a driver to take you home, as driving is off limits for 24 hours.

What happens with the disc injection procedure?

The nurse will position you on your stomach so the injection site can be cleansed with an antiseptic solution. The doctor uses a tiny needle to numb the skin with an anesthetic. X-ray guidance (fluoroscopy) is used to insert a needle into the disc. Once in position, the doctor then injects the disc with a corticosteroid and anesthetic agent. A bandage is applied to the site after the procedure.

What should I expect following the intradiscal injection?

Once the procedure is completed, you will be monitored by the nurse for 30 minutes. As the anesthetic wears off, expect mild discomfort at the site of injection. It may take a day or two for full effectiveness to occur. You avoid soaking in the tub or swimming for at least 48 hours.

What complications are associated with the disc injection procedure?

A disc injection is considered to be quite safe, but there are a few risks to consider. These include blood vessel damage, increased back pain, infection, nerve damage, and bleeding.

What is involved with a stem cell disc injection?

Another type of disc injection involves instillation of mesenchymal stem cells into the disc. These cells are obtained from bone marrow and used to assist the body tissue to rebuild and regenerate. Studies have proven stem cell disc injections to improve water content and disc height.

Can I have disc regenerative therapy (DRT)?

Disc regenerative therapy is an option used to treat chronic back pain related to disc conditions. During this procedure, the doctor injects glucosamine and dextrose into the disc, and the solution promotes healing. DRT solutions will stimulate collage fiber production, which increases the disc’s strength.

Are disc injections effective?

A recent clinical research study proved that a single injection of stem cells reduced low back pain for up to 12 months in patients with degenerative disc disease. Other research shows that disc injections result in a 50% decrease in pain after the procedure.

Resources

Koning, H.M., Koning, A.J., Tobias, C.M. et al. (2001). Long-term efficacy of intradiscal steroids for low back syndromes. The Pain Clinic, 13(2), 133-143.

Mae T. Terada T, Haruyama N, et al. (2012). Intradiscal pressurized physiologic saline injection drastically reduced pain from cervical and lumbar disc herniation. J Pain, 13(4):S89.

Orozco L, Soler R, Morera C, Alberca M, Sanchez A, & Garcia-Sancho J. (2011). Intervertebral disc repair by autologous mesenchymal bone marrow cells: a pilot study. Transplantation 92(7), 822-828.