Intervertebral disc herniation with the pressure on the surrounding neural structures is one of the most important causes of chronic low back pain, which sometimes leads to open surgery. Reducing the pressure inside the disc with intradiscal intervention such as laser irradiation or ozone injection is a minimally invasive method and an alternative to surgery with satisfactory results. These two methods were compared with each other in this research.
Patients and methods:
In this clinical trial, 40 patients with back pain radiating to lower limb due to lumbar intervertebral disc herniation were selected. These patients were randomly divided into two equal groups for percutaneous intradiscal intervention. The Laser Disc Decompression Group (LDG) (n=20) was exposed to 1500 J of laser irradiation into the disc center. In the Ozone Injection Group (OZG) patients (n=20), 6 mL of ozone 30 µg/mL was injected into the center of the disc. Considering the level of neural root involvement, both groups received 20 mg of triamcinolone injection via transforaminal epidural. Patients were followed up for 12 months regarding score on visual analogue scale and life performance improvement based on Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) and satisfaction level.
According to the results, no difference was found between the two groups for ODI variable before intervention, whereas OZG showed better ODI scores in the measured time intervals. In LDG, only a significant difference in terms of ODI score was found between the times of before surgery and the first month.
Intradiscal ozone injection could be an effective and cost-effective method for treatment of patients with discogenic back pain.
Oswestry Disability Index; laser disc decompression; low back pain; ozone injection; visual analogue scale.