gms | German Medical Science

56. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie e. V. (DGNC)
3èmes journées françaises de Neurochirurgie (SFNC)

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie e. V.
Société Française de Neurochirurgie

07. bis 11.05.2005, Strasbourg

Ozone nucleolysis of the lumbar disc: a pilot study

Ozon-Nukleolyse der lumbalen Bandscheibe

Meeting Abstract

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  • corresponding author R. Megele - Praxis für Neurochirugie, Amberg
  • F. Schmähling - Chirurgische Abteilung BWK, Amberg

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. Société Française de Neurochirurgie. 56. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie e.V. (DGNC), 3èmes journées françaises de Neurochirurgie (SFNC). Strasbourg, 07.-11.05.2005. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2005. DocP096

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: May 4, 2005

© 2005 Megele et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.




Publications on ozone nucleolysis with a rather high success rate would indicate that this method competes with disc surgery. The aim of this study was to evaluate outcome and complications of ozone nucleolysis in patients with disc herniation.


50 patients with disc herniation and radicular pain of at least 4 weeks of unsuccessful conservative treatment were enrolled in this study. All patients were treated by a single ozone nucleolysis. Under local or systemic anaesthesia appoximately 5 ml of an ozone oxygen mixture of 40 ug/ml ozone were injected into the disc by a percutaneous postero-lateral extraarticular needle puncture under fluoroscopic control. Discography was not performed. Patients were examined directly after the treatment. After 2 and 6 weeks patients were asked by a independent interviewer to rate the treatment success on a numeric pain scale from 0 to 10.


No severe complications such as discitis or permanent neurological deficits were noticed. After 2 weeks 72% patients had a pain relief of varioust degrees, 26% had no change and 2% a deterioration in pain, after 6 weeks 62%, 36%, 2% respectively. The mean on the numeric pain scale decreased from 6.5 before to 4.0 (2 weeks) and to 3.6 (6 weeks) after the treatment.


Ozone nucleolysis is a simple method without any severe complications. The treatment provides a good, but in our study a decreasing short-term improvement concerning the number of patients with pain relief. The high success rate of other studies (e.g. 80% complete pain relief after 2 months) could not be confirmed. We want to carry out a prospective study on long-term outcome of disc herniation comparing the different treatment groups such as ozone nucleolysis, disc surgery and conservative treatment.