Treatment Overview

About Treatment at Our Clinic

What is an intervertebral disc?

Intervertebral Disc

The intervertebral discs are located between the vertebrae of the back and act as a cushion for the vertebrae above and below.
At the center of the disc is the nucleus pulposus (composed of a jelly-like material that consists of mainly water), which is contained in the ring-shaped annulus fibrosus, constituted of fibers.
The intervertebral discs have a very high water content so as to prevent any strain on the upper and lower vertebrae, which are supported by this flexible cushion-like area. They make possible the bending and twisting motions in the backbone. When these discs protrude and touch a nerve, symptoms like back pain and sciatica may occur.

Illustration

Normal Disc
Normal Disc
Deformed Disc
Deformed Disc

Treatment Overview

The Discseel®

Discseel® Procedure

Discseel® Procedure was developed by an American surgeon by the name of Dr. Kevin Pauza, after caring for hundreds of patients who were made worse following their spine surgery. The treatment aims to seal tears in herniated vertebral discs and help them regenerate and recover their, allowing permanent relief of back pain. Dr. Pauza holds a series of 16 patents for a device and Discseel® biologic that support the treatment. Dr.Nonaka has been licensed to perform the Discseel® Procedure in 2018, and more than 2,880 patient have undergone the treatment in our clinic since then. At present, approximately 20 doctors, including physicians from Harvard and Boston Universities are using the Discseel® Procedure to treat their patients in the USA. Dr. Nonaka is the first physician trained to perform the Discseel® Procedure in Japan.

Targeted Conditions

There are various causes of lower back pain, and depending on the cause, symptoms could be slightly different for each patient. Pain or numbness radiating from the lower back to the calves, might indicate spondylolysis, inflammation of the sciatic nerve, or intermittent claudication. When consulting with the doctor about your back pain, be sure to describe exactly how it hurts and where else do you have symptoms. In our clinic we offer non-surgical outpatient treatment for back pain that has less burden on the body and is suitable for elderly patients. Patients who consider undergoing surgical treatment at other hospitals are also welcome for consultations.

Differences Between Surgery and Treatment at Our Clinic: FAQ

  • Q

    About Differences in Recurrence Rates for Our Outpatient Treatment vs. Surgery

    A

    Surgery is generally conducted under general anesthesia, using a ventilator. The spine is shaved and sometimes secured with screws. Also, because the pain is intense, narcotics are used; however, older patients who may lack physical strength can find rehabilitation delayed while they are in a bedridden state after surgery. For those who have had internal medical conditions (diabetes, emphysema, angina, stroke), there is some danger of infection in the area of the screw, pneumonia, heart attack, stroke, or other complications.
    Likewise, there is a danger of nerve damage even for healthy people. Even with a relatively simple herniated disc removal operation, paralysis appears in a percentage of patients.
    Since all treatment at our clinic is performed with local anesthesia just by inserting a needle of 0.8-1.0 mm thickness, patients can be treated safely regardless of whether they are older or have an internal medical condition. Our treatment takes about the same toll on the body as a tooth extraction would.
    We also use a fluoroscope to make sure the inserted needle does not come into contact with nerves. Our fluoroscope utilizes a device, similar to what is used in cardiac catheterization, that can provide continuous, high-resolution illumination, and thorough consideration is given to safety. In rare cases, the inserted needle touches a nerve, and numbness may temporarily result, but nerve damage on the level of subsequent complications does not occur because the needle is so small. Our director has done approximately 1,500 intervertebral disc treatments, but there has not been a single case of nerve damage.

  • Q

    How much of a scar will be left after the procedure?

    A

    We do our treatments with a 0.8mm needle, so the scar will for the most part be unnoticeable the next day.

  • Q

    About the Amount of Time Until You Can Expect to Feel the Effects of Our Outpatient Treatment vs. of Surgery

    A

    Because surgery is a physical treatment that removes physically deformed bone and tissue, you can expect improvement in leg pain after about 1-3 weeks. After the outpatient treatment for low back pain done here, too, you will gradually continue to improve with time. There are individual differences when it comes to the Discseel® Procedure, but since it is a straight-to-the-root treatment that improves symptoms by repairing damage and regenerating the intervertebral disc that was the cause of spinal disease, it may take a maximum of about 6 months for that intervertebral disc tissue to regenerate.

  • Q

    About Differences in Recurrence Rates for Our Outpatient Treatment vs. Surgery

    A

    The surgery that began in the 1960s removed tissue such as deformed bone or herniated discs and occasionally attempted to immobilize the area, but because of new bone damage from screws or the fact that no treatment of the root cause was being done, the appearance of new back pain and the recurrence rates were problems.
    That is why there was a need for treatment of the root cause in the 1980s, and the intervertebral disc treatment we perform at our clinic began. Thus, we have now progressed to the point of stem cell transplantation and the Discseel® Procedure, and for the Discseel® Procedure especially, intervertebral disc repair and regeneration effects are acknowledged. Symptoms not only improve, but they improve with a low recurrence rate.

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