M. Spruit, W. Jacobs

December 2002, Volume 11, Issue 6, pp 589 - 593 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-002-0450-6

First Online: 01 December 2002

The goal of this study was to evaluate the short-term effects of intradiscal electrothermal treatment (IDET) for chronic discogenic low back pain. Twenty consecutive patients with symptomatic degenerative discs were treated with IDET and evaluated preoperatively, and 3 and 6 months postoperatively. Pain was measured with a 100-mm visual analog scale (VAS) and function was evaluated with the Oswestry score and SF-36 questionnaire. The VAS scores improved by 14 mm on average (P=0.046), but the individual scores show great variation. The Oswestry scores did not improve significantly. The SF-36 showed improvement, but only for the subscales vitality (P=0.023) and bodily pain (P=0.047). Based on these results, we conclude that IDET is not effective in reducing pain and improving functional performance in a sample of 20 patients treated for chronic discogenic low back pain after 6 months follow-up.

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