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Chymopapain Chemonucleolysis Injection


I’m very interested in getting a Chymopapain injection to dissolve or reduce a sequestered disc fragment and ultimately reduce pressure on my nerve root. Based on quite a bit of research this appears to be a good intermediate treatment before resulting to surgery.

However, apparently this treatment is not widely available in the US, if at all. My understanding it is still used in Europe and parts of Asia, maybe Canada.

Does anybody have any tips about medical tourism?Specifically finding a facility that will offer the treatment and then vetting them. I’ve done quite a bit of research and have found that it is still offered in multiple places and that it has a high success rate, but can’t seem to find facilities that actually offer it. I think part of it is a language barrier.... 

I know we can’t solicit specific recommendations for doctors on the forum, so I’m more just looking for help to get the ball rolling.

Separately if anybody knows of minimally invasive treatments available in the US to reduce the size of a disc fragment, I’d be very interested. My doctor is saying I’m getting to a point where I have to decide on surgery to remove the fragment or risk permanent nerve damage.



  • oldtown

    welcome to spine-health

    if you will go to the search box at the top of the screen and punch in chymopapain you will find a few articles on the procedure, it looks like because of some very bad side affects that it is very rare in the u.s.
    i would read those articles and continue your research before looking farther.

    Veritas-Health Moderator

  • Hi Chip,

    Thanks for the feedback. Yea I’ve read them and quite a few articles through other sources as well. The primary reasons it fell out of favor was 1) severe allageric reactions which in some cases resulted in death and 2) there wasn’t a clear consensus of the effectiveness over microdiscsectomy. People with allergies can properly be screened to prevent, but it still fell out favor here in the US. 

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  • I know surgery is a big step and scary, if you can get by with a microdiscetomy it may be a safer option, I know there is a recovery time, but it is minimal.


    Veritas-Health Moderator

  • If you have a microdisectomy it’s always important to follow the surgeons instructions to a tee. 

    I’ve heard of too many people re-herniating and then requiring a second or third surgery. Then when you add up the extra time the recovery period suddenly becomes similar to if you had a fusion.

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