Percutaneous nucleotomy

As one of the minimally invasive treatment methods, percutaneous nucleotomy is primarily used to treat and resolve intervertebral disc bulges and mild to moderate prolapsed intervertebral discs. Percutaneous nucleotomy eliminates the cause of the pain without damaging the surrounding tissue unnecessarily.

Percutaneous nucleotomy

Treatment details

Duration of procedure: approx. 30 minutes
In-patient stay: 3 – 4 days
Time off work: 2 – 4 weeks
Sports: immediately after discharge: swimming
After 6-10 weeks: golf
After 3-4 weeks: cycling
Lumbar spine bandage: worn for 3-4 weeks

Treatment plan

Under local anaesthetics, we make only a small incision in the affected intervertebral discs. Using a hollow needle that is just a millimetre thick, we guide a fine, rotating spiral needle through. This needle then removes the parts of the tissue that are protruding between the vertebrae and pressing on the nerves exiting from the spinal cord. The precise position of the needle is monitored at all times on a screen. Sometimes, we use special forceps to provide relief.

Since the method does not injure any of the surrounding structures - either bone or ligaments or the spinal cord canal - there is barely any risk of scarring after treatment. Patients also benefit from a short rehabilitation period afterwards. Percutaneous nucleotomy can be carried out under endoscopic visual guidance.