Medical Oxygen Ozone Disc Injection Therapy vs. Disc Herniation Surgery
As physicians, we want to help our patients. We want to get our patients better, but the approach to achieving that goal with ozone disc injections vs. spine surgery is totally different. When you have spine surgery, no matter what type of surgery it is, whether it is microscopic, endoscopic, open surgery or laser surgery, you’re disrupting the disc and changing the normal anatomy of your body.
Ozone disc injection therapy is healthy for the disc.
Ozone disc injection therapy does not disrupt the intravetebral (spinal) disc. When I say disc, I mean spinal disc or intravetebral disc. It is actually very healthy for the disc. It does so many positive things for the disc. I want to point out some of the benefits of medical ozone disc injection therapy. A more detailed discussion of these issues can be found in my radio podcast interviews. Ozone disc injections increase blood flow to the vertebral bodies, which are the bones above and below the disc, which is how the disc gets all of its oxygen and nutrients. It decreases inflammation, it helps the fibrous tissue around the disc that holds the disc in place to proliferate, which means increasing the number of cells. And, it helps the disc cope with oxidative stress, which is a very important possible benefit. Oxidative stress is an enormous problem for the body. The human body, the animal kingdom in general, and every organism on the planet earth, has a way of coping with oxidative stress. Without the ability to cope with it, we would cease to exist. The way we cope with it is with enzymes. Enzymes are like factories that can handle millions of reactions a second. When we are confronted with an oxidative stress, for example free radicals, the enzymes can deactivate them very quickly. Ozone is unique when comparing it to all other compounds in the fact that it upgrades the amount of the enzymes that cope with oxidative stress. So, what does this mean to the disc? It means that it is going to be healthier. It means that it is going to be more resilient to further injuries. And that is a huge, huge plus.
Ozone disc injection therapy does not disrupt the disc height.
When disc surgery is performed, in addition to it disrupting the disc, either mechanically or by pulling a piece of the disc out or by vaporizing it with laser energy, a pocket of empty space in the disc is created. The disc height, therefore, will decrease. With ozone injection therapy, the herniated disc portion will shrink a little, just enough to get the pressure off the nerve. But it does not disrupt the disc height. That is one of the big reasons that I find the ozone disc injection treatment to be better than the surgery. The ozone disc injection is actually healthy for the disc.
It is safe, it is effective, it is long-lasting and the biggest thing is, it could be repeated without negative consequences.
Now, this is extremely important issue because, when you disrupt the height of the disc, when you decrease it, since the disc is the front of the spine, the back of the spine will also decrease in height. The back of the spine has a lot of very important structures, two of which are the facet joints and the neuroforamina (which are the tunnels that the nerves go through). When the height of the back of the spine is disrupted, those two structures will have more stress. The facet joints will be more prone to arthritic changes and the neuroforamina will decreased in size. Therefore, the nerve that exits the spine, is more prone to being “pinched” and injured.
Ozone disc injection therapy does not alter the anatomy of the disc.
The other main thing is, it does not alter the anatomy of the disc. That is an extremely important point because we only get one disc at each level. We are born with it and it’s with us for life. I mentioned earlier that the disc gets most of its nutrients from blood vessels above and below it, so it is a pretty fragile environment. It is a great structure, very resilient, but if it gets off-balance, it is very hard for it to get back into balance. For example, the skin has a lot of blood flow. If you cut your skin, if you get a paper cut, it heals quite quickly and it heals well. That is in part because the skin has a great blood supply. Surgery potentially disrupts the blood supply to the structures above and below the disc. Ozone actually enhances the blood supply. This aspect of ozone injection therapy for herniated discs versus surgery for herniated discs is an extremely, extremely important point for the long-term health of the spine.
Ozone disc injection therapy is just as effective as surgery with almost no risk.
(If you are interested in reviewing original research articles regarding this, please see the news article that is entitled “The safety and efficacy of ozone disc injection therapy as a follow-up” Ozone disc injection therapy is just as effective as surgery with almost no risk. That is an extremely, extremely important reason why this treatment is a superior to surgery. Sometimes surgery is necessary. For example, if a disc or a spine condition is compressing the spinal cord and a patient has loss of bowel or bladder function, the patient needs surgery. But for the vast majority of patients, particularly patients with pain of the back, of the leg, even numbness or weakness if the weakness is not extremely profound, the ozone disc injection therapy is a much better treatment for the reason that I mentioned above. It is important to stress that medical ozone disc injection therapy is just as effective as surgery, without the related risks that go along with the surgery. We see patients recover or improve on a routine basis with this minimally invasive disc injection therapy. Most patients experience a lot of improvement from just one ozone disc injection procedure. When they do very well, they do well for a long time so the good result is sustained, not short lived.
If necessary, ozone disc injection therapy can be repeated with no risk or adverse effects.
Let’s take a scenario which involves 2 theoretical patients: patient 1 has back surgery, patient 2 wants to avoid surgery and received oxygen ozone disc injections, and they both have the same result. Let’s say they both get 50% better. They are happy, but they want more relief. They have less pain, they are functioning better, but they want greater relief of the pain and they want to do more.
If necessary, ozone disc injection therapy can be repeated, with surgery, it is usually not repeated. Surgery is almost never repeated in this scenario, because of you look at the studies, the statistics are very poor for someone improving with a second back surgery. Every time you do a surgical procedure on the spine, there is the same level of risks. There are the same surgical risks and there is also the risk of internal scarring. With ozone disc injection therapy, it could be repeated and the good effect is cumulative. This is an important distinction and important for a patient to be aware of. Not only is there no downside or increased risks to repeating ozone disc treatment, there is actually a cumulatively positive effect from repeating it, due to reasons that I discussed above. As I stated above, a medical ozone disc procedure increases blood flow, it increases the body’s ability to cope with oxidative stress, in addition to the other benefits that I mentioned above. It is, therefore, very beneficial to the health of the disc and it helps prevent future injuries. In my mind as a medical doctor specializing in treating patients with advanced but safe and effective alternative treatment protocols, it is the best option for treating discs that are causing pain and dysfunction. A lot of my patients have the desire to avoid surgery; they were searching for viable alternatives. Once the distinctions between a medical ozone disc therapy vs. a back surgery are understood, patients choose ozone disc injections. We have patients coming from all over North America and sometimes from other parts of the world. It has been a very rewarding experience for me and for my patients to see such positive results.