Intradiscal Electrothermal Therapy (IDET)

Intradiscal electrothermal therapy or IDET is used to treat patients with chronic low back pain caused by tears or small herniations of the lumbar discs. It is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure. This treatment aims to alleviate chronic back pain by destroying the nerve that’s causing it.

What is the Intradiscal Electrothermal Therapy (IDET) procedure?

Under fluoroscopic (x-ray) guidance, a needle containing a heating element is inserted into the spinal disk. A catheter is placed in the outer layer of the disc and is then slowly heated.

That heat destroys the nerve fibers and causes the disc tissue to seal any small tears. It also stimulates new collagen formation.

After the Procedure

After your discharge, you will be given a back support or brace to wear for several weeks. The first few days after your procedure, you should rest and avoid twisting movement or lifting anything heavy.

Pain relief is usually not immediate, as healing takes time. It is not unusual for patients to experience increased pain during the first few days after IDET is completed.

Shortly after the procedure, you will begin physical therapy to reduce pain, increase flexibility, and build strength. Gentle stretches and walking are encouraged. Your doctor will gradually increase the activity levels that he recommends for you.

Video Overview: Intradiscal Electrothermal Therapy (IDET)