injectionWhen a disc is herniated or surgically manipulated, disc degeneration can accelerate, and sometimes, a disc degenerates from the interior center, or nucleus, of the disc. Earlier in the progression of spine motion preservation, the only remedy was complete disc removal and replacement, or vertebral fusion.

Now, in clinical trials, prosthetic nuclei are inserted to replace the nuclei in degenerated or diseased vertebral discs. A new nucleus is injected directly into the center of the disc to remediate mobility and eliminate pain. There are two major substances used as nuclei replacements:

  • Liquid Nuclei: Injection of liquid offers a more flexible disc capacity to enormously affect spine movement.
  • Hydrogel: Hydrogel is a liquid injection that quickly stiffens to take the shape of the former nucleus, and functions very similarly.

Medical researchers have also investigated nuclear prosthetics in metal, plastic, ceramics, elastic coil, and inflatable forms.

What’s the benefit?

Patients are thrilled over the “injection” method of mobility restoration and pain relief because it requires no anesthesia, other than a local numbing agent at most, and is mildly invasive compared to any surgery available. Many patients do not require a full discectomy or fusion surgery to correct their mobility deficit or alleviate their discomfort and pain. Further, recovery is much simpler and far less taxing with this injection as opposed to recovery from a full surgical procedure.