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CT-Guided Percutaneous Laser Disc Decompression (PLDD)

PLDD performed with computed tomographic (CT) is a minimally invasive procedure for herniated intervertebral discs which does not require general anaesthesia. It results in no scarring or spinal instability, shortens to rehabilitation time, is repeatable, and does not preclude open surgery should that become necessary. If you suffer from agonizing back or neck pain as a result of a herniated disc, PLDD offers quick

This procedure is specifically designed for patients with disc problems accompanied by the following:

  • Herniated lumbar discs confirmed by x-ray studies.
  • Severe leg, arm, neck or lower back pain.
  • Pain that has not responded to six weeks of conservative treatments- rest, meds or physical therapy.

The PLDD treatment at Spectra Health is performed on an outpatient basis using only local anesthesia. During the procedure, a thin needle is inserted into the herniated disc under computed tomography (CT) guidance. An optical fiber is inserted through the needle and laser energy is sent through the fiber, vaporizing a tiny portion of the disc nucleus. This creates a partial vacuum which draws the herniation away from the nerve root, thereby relieving the pain. The effect is usually immediate.

  • Because only a thin needle is used, there is no cutting and no scarring.
  • Since only a tiny amount of disc is vaporized, there is no subsequent spinal instability.
  • There is no damage to the back muscle, no bone removal or large skin incision.
  • No hospital stays and return to normal work and activities