An annuloplasty is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure for those whom have not had success with other treatments and/or injections and do not want to undergo major spine surgery to remove/replace the affected disc and fuse the affected vertebrae. Patients who have an annuloplasty are able to go home the same day of the procedure. An annuloplasty is also called Intradiscal Electrothermal Therapy.
During the procedure, controlled levels of thermal heat are applied directly to the affected disc. The heat cauterizes the collagen fibers in the outer portions of the disc wall (annulus) or the inner portion of the disc wall (nucleoplasty), closing disc wall tears and reducing symptoms from the disc injury. The patient may feel some pain during the procedure, which is an indication that the heat is being applied to the appropriate area. The needle is then removed and a small bandage is applied to the insertion point.