This review presents the history of chemonucleolysis, the techniques, indications, contraindications, and complications. Presenting an historical overview and comparison of success rates with surgical discectomy may provide a fresh understanding of the controversy surrounding chemonucleolysis and establish its efficacy in relation to more invasive treatments. A review of the literature from 1973 through 1998 for chemonucleolysis, open discectomy, and microdiscectomy provided published success rates for these procedures, and a mean rate with standard deviation was determined. In the experience and opinion of the authors, chemonucleolysis remains a viable alternative for patients who have exhausted all conservative means of treatment. Proper patient selection leads to success rates comparable to open discectomy and microdiscectomy.
- Open discectomy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine