I just had an IDET for an annular tear about 3-4 weeks ago, but don't remember if it's posterior.
IDET is expensive ($10k or so), and is an out-of-pocket expense (insurance companies still consider it "experimental" even though it was approved by the FDA for 8 years). I put alot in hock to do it to avoid disc removal (surgery).
Some on this board have not had success with it, but I have yet to feel the level of pain associated with my tear since the procedure. Even the next day felt amazing!
IDET is outpatient, and involves a wire cather inserted around the inner rim of the disc. The wire is then heated, turning the disc mushy. It involves 2 weeks of bed rest and wearing a lumbar corset for 2 months to help the disc resolidify properly.
I think your most important decision is the surgeon you find to help you - they have to be knowledgable and willing to be aggressive for you; they should also be willing to exhaust every possible non-op option available prior to considering any outpatient or surgical prcedure. Plus, since an annual tear is a traumatic injury (per se), I requested to be referred to someone experienced in sports-related injuries, since those are usually traumatic in nature.
I have a high intensity left annular tear on L4/L5
when did your pain begin?
my best suggestion to you is to lift nothing and let time heal asap
stay home and rest dont go out to much. dont drink, smoke, run, but can walk a little. accupucnture did not help but i did it after a year if yours was recent i would give acc a try. try everything that will heal right away but no surgeries. time should heal it. cross your fingers and pray
You brought up a very good point and one that I see in almost every site that I read in regards to recovery and healing. Smoking. Anyone that want to heal has to give it up. I have never smoked so I can't speak for those who do, but it is killing ya anyway, but why go out with back pain?
There are a lot of people out there who have their "cards". They smoke pot for pain. They need to discuss this with their back surgerons to tell them that they smoke. Smoke is smoke according to our doctor.
You may want to demand your tears be investigated. I've had tears at L3-4 and 4-5 for over a year and a half. Throughout this entire time, that's all that's been talked about (the tears and bulges). But.......I had a discogram, and the tears proved to be negative as pain generators. And, they showed up significantly on the mri.
Just to clarify - I had this excruciating pain daily for 4 years prior to having my IDET. Again, not to speak for anyone else's results, but since my IDET I haven't had ONE DAY of the "pelvis splitting in two" pain I experienced so frequently that nearly broke me on so many levels.
I know the results for IDET aren't as high as some reported, but I guess the same could be said for fusion, etc. I just wanted to use my last non-op option, and try to save my disc. Had to.
Noone's experience is identical, but I wanted to share my results, especially since this has been my most positive experience in 4 years! I'm hopeful that it does solve my disc problem in the long run, because I'm not sure I could've lasted another day dealing with this. I just want my life back, and am willing to try (and have tried) almost anything to do that.
Regardless of anyone's decision, I just hope we are all able to find some relief (or hope of obtaining relief). I'm also glad I found this site...this way my husband and friends don't have to listen to this every day! My best wishes to all.
Congratulations on your IDET!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes, I think you will continue to improve. I really do. I was going to go for it, when they said my pain was due to annular tears. I was so frightened, though, b/c of all the horrible things I read about it on this website! I feel soooo sorry for the people who went through it, the brace, the restrictions, the intense pt, etc. for nothing. But.......it's great to hear another side of it!!!!!!
Thanks so much - I really am happy to-date. So far, so good. I look stupid standing at the office, but I'll do what I have to do!!
I had the IDET done for an annular tear - did they say there was a reason it wasn't an option for you? I'm always curious at how different our medical advice can be.
I just couldn't part with my disc yet. So, I actually am glad I got it done. I don't think I'd regret it even if it failed. Since it took over 3 years to even find the problem, any treatment option I use, successful or no, is great for me, because at least I know what's wrong and feel like I'm trying to fix it. Knowing I had something really painful and life-altering, but not knowing what it was, was just so hard for me to handle.
In all honesty, I'm surprised we aren't all being diagnosed with clinical depression as a result of what we're going through! (or post-traumatic stress disorder!)