Nucleoplasty: A Minimally Invasive Solution for Disc-Related Back Pain

Back Pain

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Back pain stands as a widespread health challenge impacting millions globally, with causes spanning from simple muscle strain to more intricate spinal conditions. Within this spectrum, disc-related back pain presents a significant worry, frequently arising from issues such as herniated discs or degenerative disc disease. Nucleoplasty, characterized by its minimally invasive approach, has surfaced as a groundbreaking and efficient remedy for tackling issues associated with disc-related back pain.

Understanding Nucleoplasty:

Nucleoplasty, alternatively termed plasma disc decompression, represents a minimally invasive outpatient intervention crafted to address specific forms of disc-related back pain. Administered under local anesthesia, this procedure employs radiofrequency energy to alleviate issues associated with herniated or degenerated discs.

The Process:

  1. Patient Assessment: Before undergoing nucleoplasty, patients undergo a thorough assessment to determine the suitability of the procedure for their specific condition. Diagnostic imaging, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or X-rays, helps identify the location and severity of disc-related issues.
  2. Local Anesthesia: During nucleoplasty, patients undergo the procedure under local anesthesia, diminishing the reliance on general anesthesia and mitigating potential complications linked to more invasive surgical methods.
  3. Guided Needle Insertion: Under the guidance of advanced imaging technology, a slender needle is meticulously introduced into the impacted disc, guaranteeing precision and accuracy in pinpointing the problematic region.
  4. Radiofrequency Energy Application: Upon proper needle placement, radiofrequency energy is employed on the disc, forming channels within the tissue. This procedure alleviates pressure within the disc, leading to decompression and alleviating nerve irritation that may be a source of pain.
  5. Tissue Removal: Simultaneously with the application of radiofrequency energy, a minimal amount of tissue is extracted, contributing to further pressure reduction and enhancing the overall functionality of the afflicted disc.
  6. Quick Recovery: Due to the minimally invasive nature of nucleoplasty, patients commonly undergo a faster recovery in contrast to traditional open surgeries. Many individuals find themselves able to resume normal activities within a brief timeframe, often either on the same day or the day following the procedure.

Benefits of Nucleoplasty:

  1. Minimally Invasive Nature: Nucleoplasty minimizes the need for large incisions and extensive tissue disruption, leading to reduced postoperative pain and a faster recovery.
  2. Preservation of Disc Structure: Unlike some other procedures that involve removing or replacing discs, nucleoplasty preserves the overall structure of the disc while addressing the specific issues causing pain.
  3. Outpatient Setting: The procedure is commonly carried out in an outpatient setting, granting patients the ability to return home on the very same day. This convenience holds particular merit for those in search of a less intrusive solution to alleviate their back pain.
  4. High Success Rates: Studies have shown that nucleoplasty can provide effective and lasting relief for appropriately selected patients with disc-related back pain, making it a valuable option in the spectrum of spine care.


Nucleoplasty stands as a promising option for individuals grappling with disc-related back pain. Its minimally invasive nature, coupled with high success rates and quicker recovery times, positions it as a viable alternative to traditional open surgeries. As with any medical procedure, consultation with a qualified healthcare professional is essential to determine its appropriateness for an individual’s specific condition. As medical technology continues to advance, nucleoplasty showcases the potential for innovative solutions in the realm of spine care, offering hope and relief to those suffering from debilitating back pain.

Nucleoplasty FAQ

Nucleoplasty surgical fees in Singapore start at approximately $5000 SGD, with additional costs for facilities, equipment, and other charges. The overall expenses may vary across different countries.
Substantial pain relief was reported by 67.7% (21 patients). Common side effects post-nucleoplasty included soreness at the needle puncture site (64.5%), numbness in the lower leg (12.9%), and increased back pain intensity (9.7%). [Source]
No instances of permanent injury or complications arising from nucleoplasty have been documented. While there is a potential risk of infection at the probe insertion site, the surgical procedure is conducted in a sterile environment, minimizing the likelihood of disc infection and ensuring a low risk of overall infection.
The procedures carry minimal risks or complications. Conducted under X-ray guidance, which outlines safe and unsafe zones, the process is deemed 99% safe, eliminating the risk of paralysis. The likelihood of nerve injury, infection, or bleeding is less than 0.5%.


If you would like an appointment / review with our nucleoplasty specialist in Singapore, the best way is to call +65 3135 1327 or click here to book an appointment at the clinic. If you would like to speak to one of our clinicians first, then please contact or SMS/WhatsApp to +65 3135 1327.

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