Background and aims Percutaneous lumbar nucleoplasty (PLN) is an effective treatment for internal disc disruption (IDD). In this retrospective study, we evaluated the effectiveness of PLN to manage discogenic low back pain (LBP) and predictive factors associated with the successful outcome of PLN.
Methods PLN guided by fluoroscopy was conducted for discogenic LBP by one pain physician. Successful outcome was defined as more than 50% pain relief on the numerical rating scale (NRS) pain score, no increase in analgesics, and no additional treatment during the 6-month follow-up period. The relationship between outcomes and independent variables, including patient demographics, comorbid diseases, pain duration, numbers and level of the affected disc, the Modified Dallas Discogram Scale, and preoperative MRI findings were investigated using multivariate analyses.
Results Of 80 patients, 56 experienced a successful outcome after PLN. Higher Modified Dallas Discogram Scale and the L3/L4 level treatment were related with the positive outcome. There were no other statistically significant between-group differences in the other factors. No serious complications related to PLN occurred.
Conclusions In this study, 70% of the included patients showed more than 50% pain reduction without any complications during the 6-month follow-up period. The high-grade Modified Dallas Discogram Scale and L3/L4 level treatment were positive predictors for successful PLN.
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