Send to

Choose Destination
J Clin Laser Med Surg. 2001 Feb;19(1):3-8.

Cervical percutaneous laser disc decompression: preliminary results of an ongoing prospective outcome study.

Author information

The Spinal Foundation, Rochdale, UK.



This study identifies the efficacy of laser disc ablation and compares the relative efficacy of Holmium2100; YAG and KTP532 laser wavelengths in the treatment of broad-based cervical disc protrusions presenting with cervical axial pain with compressive or noncompressive radicular symptoms.


A preliminary report on a prospective outcome study of cervical laser disc ablation and decompression in the management of cervical disc prolapse and discographically confirmed discogenic pain in association with radicular pain.


Patients with chronic cervical pain and radicular symptoms unresponsive to conservative treatment were assessed with magnetic resonance (MR) scans. Those with broad-based disc bulge or discal degeneration were assessed with provocative discography to isolate the source of pain. Percutaneous laser disc decompression was performed as a day case procedure on 105 patients at 108 levels under X-ray control via the anterior approach with side-firing probes in patients.


At a minimum follow up of 24 months, 51% of patients demonstrated a sustained significant clinical benefit with an additional 25% in whom functional improvement was noted. No difference in outcome was identified either with the wavelengths used or with laser annealing or painful discal tears. The cohort integrity of the study was 80%.


The sustained nature of the benefit (mean 3.5 years at final follow up) after long-term preoperative symptoms (mean 3.9 years) in 76% patients rules out placebo effect. Benefits occurred independently of the wavelength of laser used.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center