What Are the Current Indications for IDET?

Fig. 1
IDET for a Herniated Disc
(larger view)

Combining IDET with Other Pain Management Treatments

IDET is currently indicated for patients with chronic back pain that does not respond to at least 6 months of conservative (nonsurgical) treatment. Conservative treatment typically includes a combination of:

  • Medication
  • Rest
  • Activity modification
  • Physical therapy and/or appropriate exercise program

It is important to note that at least 90% of people get better with the above treatments and do not require additional treatment.

For those who fail to respond and have significant limitations in their daily function, additional testing such as MRI imaging and lumbar discography are useful in determining which discs, if any, may be responsible for the chronic pain.

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Candidates for IDET include patients with back pain caused by (see Figure 1):

  • Small herniations
  • Internal disc tears
  • Mild disc degeneration limited to one or two levels

The presence of multiple abnormal, painful discs does not bode well for a good, predictable surgical outcome, regardless of the surgical procedure performed.

Relative contraindications for IDET include: