Percutaneous laser nucleolysis of the intervertebral lumbar disc: An experimental study

Jacobo Nerubay*, Israel Caspi, Moshe Levinkopf, Amnon Tadmor, Juan J. Bubis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Percutaneous laser discectomy has developed as a new modality in the treatment of herniated intervertebral discs. An experimental study of percutaneous nucleolysis using a carbon dioxide laser beam was performed in 10 dogs, each dog having 2 intervertebral disc spaces treated, for a total of 20 discs. The intradiscal pressure decreased in all instances with the drop ranging from 10% to 55% at the L2-L3 disc and 40% to 69% at the L4-L5 disc. The macroscopic and microscopic studies showed vaporization of the nucleus pulposus, and in 8 spaces, thermal damage to the end plate was observed. This study suggests that carbon dioxide laser nucleolysis is easy and effective, but 300 J of laser energy can damage the end plates in some intervertebral discs in dogs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-44
Number of pages3
JournalClinical Orthopaedics and Related Research
StatePublished - 1997


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