What is it?

Plasma Disc Decompression is quickly becoming a new alternative for people who are likely to have suffered from a back injury or a bulging disc. For several accident victims who have not responded well to conservative care had back surgery as the only available option. Not only are these surgeries extremely painful, they do not guarantee 100% results.

In numerous cases Plasma Disc Decompression is the best alternative for a less invasive treatment method. The treatment allows patients to return to their homes on the same day of the procedure.

The process is performed under x-ray guidance. A small pathway is created in the disc to insert a device into the center of the injured disc through the surgical portal.

In this process, the nucleus tissue is removed from the disc. This relieves pressure on the outside membrane of the disc and allows the disc to no longer irritate the nerve root.

Am I a candidate?

If you are experiencing radicular pain (discomfort and pain that travels along a spinal nerve root) you can benefit from a disc decompression process. For example, a patient who has a herniated disc in the lumbar spine and suffers from back pain that radiates to the legs or the feet can have this procedure performed.

Although the procedure can be used for treating cervical and thoracic discs, the process is mostly performed on painful discs in the lumbar.

Patients who have a contained or small disc herniation are more likely to benefit more from the procedure than those having large herniations.

Moreover, a patient’s eligibility for Disc Decompression is frequently evaluated by a Discogram to know whether the target discs are the real cause of a patient’s ache. The discogram is crucial when a patient’s MRI signals multiple abnormal discs in the spine.

The process makes use of Coblation, a patented technology that employs electrical energy combined with a conductive medium to produce plasma that accurately, but gently dissolves soft tissue. This occurs at fairly low temperatures to minimize the damage to healthy and adjacent tissues. The resulting outcome is that when a part of disc nucleus gets removed, the herniated disc becomes decompressed.

How long does it take?

This is a short process that takes roughly 30-45 minutes. Guided by X-ray, the procedure is done under local anesthesia. Frequently, an intravenous sedation is administered to make the patient relaxed. Since general anesthesia is not given, the recovery takes place at a rapid rate. Risk of infections should be minimized using the sterile technique.


Since, patients are not given general anesthesia; they generally walk out of the surgery room within an hour of the treatment. A large number of patients return to work within a week to ten days after Plasma Disc Decompression.

Final Thoughts

There may be a need of occasional physical therapy after plasma disc decompression for strengthening a patient’s weakened leg or back muscles. Patients are also guided as to how to avoid the recurrence of the condition.