Is electrotherapy for disk problems a form of surgery?

Electrotherapy is a new treatment for disk problems that cause chronic low back pain. It’s also known as intradiskal eletrothermal therapy (IDET). IDET is a noninvasive operation. This means that the doctor doesn’t have to make a large cut or incision to open the back.

A small opening is made to insert a thin, rigid tube into the disk. A local anesthetic is used at the site of the insertion. The patient is awake, but sedated through an intravenous medication. This means the patient is conscious, but not alert. The disk is heated up to a high temperature using electrical heat.

The process takes less than 10 minutes. The procedure is done in an outpatient clinic and the patient goes home one to two hours later.