Nucleoplasty is the most advanced form of percutaneous discectomy developed to date. Nucleoplasty uses a unique technology to remove tissue from the center of the disc. Tissue removal from the nucleus acts to “decompress” the disc and relieve the pressure exerted by the disc on the nearby nerve root . As pressure is relieved the pain is reduced.


Nucleoplasty has been shown to be a highly effective procedure in treating leg pain such as sciatica, as well as back pain with radiculopathy. Average pain reduction has been reported as significant – and patient satisfaction has been high. High patient satisfaction has largely been due to the ease of the procedure, the lack of trauma or painful rehabilitation period, the fact that nucleoplasty does not diminish the effectiveness of any subsequent procedure – such as surgery, and in the rare instance that the procedure is not deemed a ‘success’, the patient is typically no worse off… there is no downside


Nucleoplasty is a widely accepted treatment for patients with small contained herniations for whom open surgical discectomy offers a poor chance of success. It may also be a promising option for patients with large contained herniations for whom open surgery is not considered an appropriate treatment.

There are some medical conditions that may indicate that Nucleoplasty is not right for you. Your diagnosing physician will know if these apply to you or not.


The Nucleoplasty procedure is very straightforward. A patient receives a local anesthetic and possibly mild sedation – no general anesthetic is required. The needle insertion is simple, with little pain. Once the needle is inserted into the disc, the disc decompression itself takes only a few minutes. The entire procedure lasts about 30 minutes, and the patient is able to leave shortly afterwards, with only a small bandage over the needle insertion site.

The post-op recovery after Nucleoplasty is undemanding. Patients typically feel little pain after the procedure. Patients are required to avoid lifting and strenuous exercise for a period of time, and may go back to sedentary work after only a week or two. Patients with more physically demanding occupations may need to wait longer to recommence work. Some physical therapy may be prescribed as well for optimum rehabilitation.


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