What is HydroDiscectomy?
HydroDiscectomy is a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure that uses a high-speed water stream to remove herniated disc tissue, relieving the nerve pressure that causes back and leg pain.
Am I a candidate for this type of procedure?
You may be a good candidate for HydroDiscectomy if:
If your pain has not improved after four or more weeks of nonsurgical treatment (physical therapy, pain medication, and/or epidural steroid injections)
If you have signs of nerve damage in your leg (severe weakness, loss of coordination, or loss of feeling)
If your symptoms are getting worse
If you do not have other spine conditions such as narrowing of the spinal canal (spinal stenosis) or spinal instability that may be the primary source of your pain.
If you wish to avoid surgery unless your physician tells you that it is your best option.
How can I find a doctor?
How effective is HydroDiscectomy?
What can I expect before, during, and after the procedure?
Before the procedure:
During the procedure:
HydroDiscectomy is performed using a fluoroscope which is a machine that projects live x-ray pictures onto a monitor. This allows the physician to place the SpineJet device within the spinal disc without using a large incision. The procedure is typically performed using a local anesthesia - so you many remain awake.
The physician will insert the SpineJet device by dilating a tiny hole in the disc wall. Once the device is in place, the water-jet action works to quickly remove the herniated disc tissue.
The entire procedure takes only 20 to 30 minutes.
After the procedure
In most cases you will be able to go home the same day as your procedure.
Plan on bed rest with gentle stretching for several days.
You may need over-the-counter or prescription pain medication for several days.
You may be able to return to work in about 1 week (consult with your physician because recovery times vary depending on your condition, occupation, etc.).
You should avoid long periods of sitting, as well as bending, twisting and lifting for several weeks.
You may be able to start a stretching or physical exercise program after about a week.
Everyone recovers at different rates. Your physician will provide an after-care plan that is best suited for you.
Will the procedure hurt?
The physician will use local anesthetic to numb the area to be treated. You should experience minimal discomfort. Should it be required, your physician may administer additional numbing medication or light sedation.
What is the cost?
Insurance coverage for HydroDiscectomy varies widely by insurer and plan. Your physician's office will check your benefits to determine your out of pocket cost. Third party finance options may also be available to you through your physician's office.