Miinimally Invasive Procedure May Ease Back Pain

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A recent study presented at the annual meeting in Texas of the American Academy of Pain Medicine reported that patients with a variety of back pain conditions could benefit from a minimally invasive procedure called facet arthrodesis. In a prospective study the procedure was used with 102 spine joints in patients who had suffered from recurrent joint mediated low back pain. All subjects had previously had relief following a procedure where heat was used to cut off the nerve supply to the site of the back pain but this relief lasted only about 10 months.
The minimally invasive procedure included a small incision and placing pins by the joints in the affected areas. A bone graft was then placed into the joint and designed to grow into the joint and relieve pain.

a year after the procedure most patients reported a reduction in pain on a visual analogue scale from 79 to 23, and their functions improved on a separate disability index from 33.46 to 8.32. Ninety two percent also reported no longer taking narcotic drugs for pain. The researchers believe this has the potential to be a long term solution for back pain resulting from joint disease.

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