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

Holiday Schedule: All Offices Will Be CLOSED Monday, December 25

All of the Center for Pain Management’s locations will be CLOSED on Monday, December 25, 2017 in observance of Christmas. This includes our Indianapolis, Greenwood and Lafayette, Indiana medical offices and surgery centers. Please keep our holiday schedule in mind…
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Don’t Let Neck & Back Pain Ruin Your Holidays: Get Checked by One of Our Indiana Pain Specialists

The holiday season is underway in Central Indiana, and that means hauling firewood, hanging lights and standing in front of the stove for hours on end while cooking up something homey and delicious for family. Unfortunately, this also means it’s…
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Thanksgiving Schedule: All Offices Will Be CLOSED Thursday & Friday, November 23 & 24

All of the Center for Pain Management’s locations will be CLOSED on Thursday, November 23 AND Friday, November 24 in observance of Thanksgiving. Please keep our holiday schedule in mind when you are scheduling appointments or requesting prescription refills. We…
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Meet Dr. Saima Kamal, MD in Our Lafayette Pain Center

Dr. Saima Kamal, MD – Pain Specialist at Center for Pain Management in Lafayette, Indiana Dr. Saima Kamal, MD is board certified in Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine. She has notable expertise in a wide range of interventional medical procedures for…
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Meet Dr. Scott Kim, MD in Our Greenwood Pain Center

Dr. Scott Kim, MD is board certified in Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine. 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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