The PACIF procedure, which destroys or removes tissue in the suprapendicular area, might be a safe and effective way to treat common low back pain, a new study suggests.
Researchers from the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, in Lubbock, started developing the PACIF (Percutaneous Ablation, Curettage and Inferior Foraminotomy) procedure after noticing that the majority of their patients’ low back pain could be reproduced in the L4-L5 region of the spine. Epiduroscopy of the area suggested that the likely source of the pain was not the nerve roots or disks, and that it might be a “sensitization of a peridural membrane in the suprapendicular area of the lumbar vertebral.” The researchers found that targeting this membrane helped to relieve pain, even for some patients who had chronic pain for more than five years.
“If I take the epidural scope and find an area that is painful, push the scope all the way out of the neuroforamen, out of the inferior part of the neuroforamen, when the patients came back to my clinic, they would either be completely pain-free or have dramatically reduced pain,” said study author Hemmo Bosscher, MD.
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