Intradiscal Electrothermal Therapy (IDET)

The Center for Pain Management uses intradiscal electrothermal therapy as a pain management treatment option to relieve chronic back pain. Intradiscal electrothermal therapy (or IDET therapy) is a minimally invasive treatment in which the physician applies controlled levels of thermal energy (heat) to a broad section of the affected spinal disc wall. This heat contracts and thickens the collagen of the disc wall and raises the temperature of the nerve endings. Therapy may result in contraction or closure of the disc wall fissures, a reduction in the bulge of the inner disk material, and a desensitization of the pain sensors within the disc.

With age or due to injury, fissures may develop in the wall of the intervertebral disc. Filled with small nerve endings and blood vessels, these fissures are a chronic source of pain in many patients. Additionally, the inner disc tissue (nucleus) will frequently cause the disc to bulge or herniate into these fissures in the outer region of the disc, likewise stimulating pain sensors within the disc.

IDET acts exclusively upon the tissues of the disc itself and should not be expected to relieve symptoms arising from other spinal structures, such as nerve roots or spinal joints. It is therefore very important for your physician to diagnose that the disc is the primary source of your back pain. In addition to a clinical examination, your physician may use Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) or injections of dye into the disc (discography) to confirm the diagnosis. Once satisfied that one or more discs are the primary source of your lower back pain, your physician may recommend IDET.

How it works: IDET is performed on an outpatient basis. Local anesthesia and mild sedation are commonly used to reduce discomfort during the procedure. Patients are awake and alert so that they can provide important feedback to the physician when asked. With the guidance of x-ray images, the physician will advance a needle into the disc. A catheter is passed through the needle and into the disc. Once the needle is in the appropriate position, the temperature of the heating section of the catheter will be increased gradually, raising the temperature of the disc wall. During this heating, the physician will closely monitor the patient’s condition and comfort level. Patients will most likely feel a reproduction of their usual lower back pain. This is an indication that the heat is being applied to the appropriate areas. Once the therapy is completed, the catheter and needle are removed.

Updates + Announcements

September is Pain Awareness Month

Center for Pain Management joins the global health care community in recognizing September as Pain Awareness Month.  This international campaign was first established in 2001 to create greater understanding that pain is a serious public health issue. Pain Awareness Month…
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Multidisciplinary Pain Medicine Fellowship

The Center for Pain Management is seeking qualified candidates for its 12-month Multidisciplinary Pain Medicine Fellowship. This is a salaried, non-ACGME accredited training program for individuals interested in pursuing a career in clinical practice. Fellows will be trained and become…
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Meet Dr. Scott Kim, MD – Anesthesiologist + Pain Management Physician

Dr. Scott Kim, MD is a board-certified anesthesiologist and pain management specialist. He has notable expertise in a wide range of interventional medical procedures for treating acute and chronic pain conditions. Learn More About Dr. Scott Kim, MD at the…
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Center for Pain Management in Lafayette, Indiana is Now Open & Accepting New Patients

We are proud to announce the opening of a new location. The Center for Pain Management in Lafayette, Indiana (formerly known as Innovations Pain Management  Group) is open and accepting new patients. This state-of-the art 4,000 square-foot pain care center…
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Senior Olympic Race Walker Beats Back Pain with Spinal Cord Stimulator

Kay is an accomplished competitive race walker who participated in the Senior Games for 20 years until severe back pain ended her Olympic dreams. Instead of accepting defeat and living with the pain, this active 82 year old athlete had…
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