Intradiscal biacuplasty (IDB) as a treatment for discogenic low-back pain has shown positive results in maintaining pain relief and physical function, according to a new study. IDB is a minimally invasive treatment that uses two cooled radiofrequency electrodes on affected discs to interrupt the creation of pain sensations by ablating the intervertebral disc cover’s nerve fibers. The results were presented at the 30th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Pain Medicine.

Following a previous 6-month, double-blind, sham, randomized study, researchers continued following 22 of the original study subjects for 12 months. Patients receiving the IDB reported improved outcomes on physical function, pain, and disability using the SF-36 healthy survey, the 11-point pain numerical rating scale (NRS), and the Oswestry low-back pain disability questionnaire. Clinically significant improvements in the original study that were reported at 6 months were upheld at 9 and 12 months for physical function. Patients who had received the sham therapy in the previous study and IDB in the second study had improvements that were statistically similar to the patients in the first IDB group. Twenty-four out of thirty patients receiving sham therapy in the first study selected to receive IDB treatment, with 20 completing follow up.

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While the majority of low-back pain sufferers would not be suitable candidates for IDB due to the presence of multilevel disease, the authors state that IDB should be limited to younger patients with discogenic pain from 1 or 2 lumbar discs and no other low-back pain sources.

For more information visit the American Academy of Pain Medicine website.