What is IDET?
IDET (Intradiscal ElectroThermal Therapy) is a procedure, used in a select group of patients with back pain, in which a special catheter is placed into the disc. Controlled levels of heat are then applied into the disc using this catheter. The heat contracts and thickens the collagen of the disc wall and may reduce the bulge of the inner disc material. This ultimately leads to a reduction in pain in approximately 50% of people, which is the approximate success rate of surgery. The healing process takes 12 to 16 weeks after the procedure at which point pain relief is usually experienced. IDET is best suited to people who have pain located primarily in the low back who have not improved with more conservative therapies including medications and physical therapy. You should have a MRI that shows that at least 50% of the disc height is preserved. Usually a discography (a test where dye is injected into the disc and reproduction of pain is tested) is performed to identify disc(s) involved and that the disc is a cause of your typical back pain. There are other limiting factors, so each individual case should be reviewed with your Pain Doctor.