What is degenerative disc syndrome? The spine is made up of a series of bones called vertebrae, which are connected to each other by what are called intervertebral discs. The discs are elastic and act as a kind of shock absorber for the vertebrae, absorbing shocks that occur during movements such as running and jumping. As we age, however, the intervertebral discs lose their ability to retain water. As a result, their volume decreases and their buffering function is reduced. This degeneration can lead to inflammation, which causes pain in the affected area.
Gesunde Bandscheibe – Healthy disc / Degenerierte Bandscheibe – Degenerated disc
Spinalnerv – Spinal nerve
How can degenerative disc syndrome be treated? Back pain caused by degenerative disc syndrome is usually first treated conservatively. For example, medications, painkiller injections and physical therapy are used for this purpose. When these treatments are ineffective, some patients opt for back surgery. However, a vertebral fusion or a disc prosthesis are massive surgical procedures with long rehabilitation times and a major impact on everyday life. The GelStix™ implant provides a non-surgical alternative to complex surgical procedures for patients for whom conservative therapy has not provided relief.
GelStix™ is a small implant designed to correct the degenerative condition of intervertebral discs. It consists of a gel-like substance that absorbs water during insertion, causing it to swell and give the disc permanent volume and hydration.
GelStix™ is injected through a small needle into the center of the affected disc. This procedure is minimally invasive and can be performed on an outpatient basis.
First, the doctor performs an examination. This can be, for example, an imaging procedure such as an MRI or a diagnostic injection. This can determine the condition of the disc in question and the most appropriate treatment for it.
You will be in the prone position and a local anesthetic and mild sedative will be administered. Under X-ray control, a thin needle is inserted directly into the disc and the GelStix™ implant is injected. The needle is then removed again and the puncture covered with a simple plaster
The procedure usually takes only 15 to 30 minutes and is performed under local anesthesia.
After injection, GelStix™ restores the disc’s water content and reverses the degenerative process
After the treatment
You will rest for another hour or two for observation and then be discharged. During the first few days after treatment, you should not spend too much time sitting, standing or walking. Generally, patients can return to work in less than a week. Symptoms of degenerative disc syndrome usually improve or disappear completely within two weeks.
The safety of the GelStix™ implant is proven and complications are rare. Any risks associated with this procedure must be discussed with the physician. Short-term pain may occur in the needle insertion area and slight hematomas may form.
For whom is GelStix™ suitable?
Individuals suffering from back or neck pain who do not experience improvement after several months should consult their physician to determine if treatment with GelStix™ is an option for them.
Make your appointment for a consultation at our practice!