As already mentioned in the section on "neurosurgical clinical pictures", the nerve can be crushed by a hernia. If however the annulus fibrosus itself is not yet severed, the surgeon can choose to break down a portion of the nucleus pulposus in order partially to suction it off. This then ensures lower pressure in the disc itself, which may enable the annulus to resume its original shape.

This technique is performed under local anaesthesia and involves a stay of a few hours in a day clinic. The surgeon places a fairly large needle into the intervertebral disc. The entire treatment is administered by means of this needle.

The major advantage of this technique is avoiding surgery proper.

The disadvantage is that the chance of complete recovery is not as significant as with an MED (Micro-Endoscopic Discectomy) and that this treatment (the special needle) is not reimbursed by the Belgian mandatory health insurance (€ 1000).

Video

The annulus is pressing on the nerve, but is not broken.


The special catheter is inserted into the disc under local anaesthesia.


The catheter dissolves part of the nucleus, which reduces the pressure on the nerve.