What is Biacuplasty?
This procedure is designed to reduce chronic back pain caused by the intervertebral discs. Disc biacuplasty is an alternative approach to managing discogenic back pain and for many people it may be an alternative to invasive spinal surgery.
How is the procedure performed?
Typically, a patient undergoing the disc biacuplasty procedure will lie in the prone position on a procedural table. Pillows may be used to flatten the lordosis of the lumbar spine, especially to facilitate access to the L5-S1 disc. Equipment will be used to monitor blood pressure, heart rate, heart rhythm, and blood oxygen levels.
A sedative is administered in order to relax the patient. This may include IV sedation or other methods depending on the physician or institutional preference. The patient must remain at a level of consciousness where they are able to verbally communicate with the physician. The site is prepared in the lumbar area with an appropriate sterile technique. A sterile field must be maintained throughout the procedure. A local anesthetic is injected subcutaneously to the two (2) areas where TransDiscal™ introducer needles will be inserted, and down the approximate path the introducers will take. The introducer needles are inserted percutaneously and navigated to the target intervertebral disc using fluoroscopic guidance. Physiologically-safe radiofrequency energy is passed between the two probes, lesioning the nociceptive fibers in the disc. The patient is held for observation and recovery from the effects of the sedative.
Who is eligible for this procedure?
The best candidate for disc biacuplasty will have a history of back pain lasting at least six months with minimal improvement from a comprehensive conservative program. People who have had prior back surgery on the symptomatic disc are not candidates.
After the procedure, biacuplasty patients may experience tenderness and inflammation of the treatment area. This is due to the insertion of the introducers and the generation of heat in the disc. This tenderness should subside within 2 weeks from the procedure date. The patient will be discharged from the clinic and instructed to avoid strenuous activity for a period of six weeks. A brace is necessary for 6-8 weeks and physical activity must be increased gradually.