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

North Meridian Office CLOSED, April 8, 2019

Patients, Our 8805 N. Meridian St. location is closed today, April 8, due to a water main break.  If you have questions please call 317-706-7246 tomorrow (April 9) during normal business hours. Thank you, Center for  Pain Management

New Research Shows Long Term Results from Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) Implants

Patients Report Improvement in Pain Relief & Daily Life Activity Two Years After Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) Implants The European Journal of Pain recently accepted a research article for peer review, “Spinal cord stimulation for chronic refractory pain: long‐term effectiveness…
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WEATHER ALERT: All Locations are OPEN During Regular Office Hours

Worried about the weather? Follow us on social media for updates! ALL locations for the Center for Pain Management are OPEN during regular office hours. This includes our Indianapolis, Greenwood and Lafayette, Indiana pain treatment centers. We will update our…
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Dr. Edward Kowlowitz Named One of America’s Top Doctors in Pain Medicine

Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. named Edward Kowlowitz, MD one of America’s Top Doctors in Pain Medicine. Dr. Kowlowitz is 1 of 7 physicians in Indiana to earn this distinguished designation. He has been practicing medicine since 1988 and founded Center…
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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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