Has anyone had the Via Disc procedure?

Posted by ladeedi51 @ladeedi51, Mar 13 10:18am

I’m a 73 year old woman who has back pain for several years. Lumbar spondylolistesis,
Lumbar spondylosis, stenosis of intervertebral foramina - and there’s more.
I’ve had every injection available to no relief. I had the Vertiflex procedure 2 years ago with no success. So then dr suggested a S1 joint fusion. Had that done in November of ‘23. This surgery has left me with new pain. Never had a problem with my right leg - NOW I have pain in my hamstring or back of thigh. It stops me in my track. It feels similar to a Charlie horse. I can hardly walk until it passes. Never had this before until I had the S1 fusion.
So here I am worse off then before and Dr suggest the Via Disc Procedure - injectable therapy that delivers allogeneic disc material inside the damaged disc that tricks the disc into healing and repairing itself.
I’m so hesitant to try this cause all else has failed.
My question has anyone had this procedure or know of someone who has - and what the results have been? I’m at my wits end here.
I don’t know what to do anymore.

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@ladeedi51 Thank you for bringing up this question about the VIA Disc procedure. I have not heard of this before, and I can find a lot of providers advertising this on their websites. For a more objective analysis, I found this literature about the clinical trial for this procedure that injects a disc to restore the disc height and allow the disc to absorb water to provide cushioning.

National Library of Medicine:
VAST Clinical Trial: Safely Supplementing Tissue Lost to Degenerative Disc Disease

That does sound interesting and promising, but from your account, it isn't clear to me why your doctor is recommending this. Stenosis of the foraminae is compression of the nerve roots. If a disc causes that, it may be that the disc has herniated into that space and caused some bone spur growth there, but if a disc didn't cause that, maybe there is another cause. If there are bone spurs, injecting a disc won't change that. If a disc has collapsed, the vertebrae bones get closer together, and that can compress the foraminal space, but how much? The example I can give you involves my neck. My C5/C6 disc herniated into the central canal and had collapsed by 50%. I did not have arthritis in the foraminae, but I could side bend my neck and hit those nerve roots causing a strong burning pain down my arms. I had asked my surgeon if my disc could be saved, and he said no. That was 8 years ago, and perhaps today there may be a different answer, but that is a good question to ask because it may make a difference how deteriorated a disc is to be a candidate for this procedure. It took my disc about 20 years to get there as it went through a period of bulging before it herniated and spilled out the contents of the nucleus which is a jelly like substance. That is what this injection is replacing.

Spinal discs in adults do not have a blood supply, and there has been research going on with attempts to regenerate and repair discs.

All surgery also creates scar tissue which gets tight. That can generate pain. I work on my scar tissue periodically with Myofascial Release which stretches out the scar tissue and helps it move again. Tight fascia can put lots of extra pressure on the body resulting in pain and dehydration of the fascial tissues. The fascia is not only a conductor of some electricity in muscles, but also helps wash away waste products and if it is stuck and dehydrated, it interferes with that ability. It may be worth exploring if Myofascial Release can improve your pain before consenting to further surgery. I have done this MFR work for 15 years and had a lot of benefit from it. My therapist has trained me in her techniques and how I can self treat at home.

Here is our discussion where you can learn more. There is a provider search at http://mfrtherapists.com/

Neuropathy - "Myofascial Release Therapy (MFR) for treating compression and pain"

Perhaps a second opinion from a different surgeon or neurologist may be able to determine the source of the pain. Physical therapists are pretty good at this too from a mechanical point of view. I have used MFR to treat Thoracic outlet syndrome, and rehab from my spine surgery. It also made my surgery easier for my surgeon because my tissues were looser, and they didn't have to pull so hard to retract it during surgery. That probably made my recovery easier I would guess, than if I had not done MFR. I do think MFR may help the scar tissue you have because of surgery.

What are your thoughts? Again, thank you for bringing up this topic for discussion, as it is interesting.


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