Intradiscal therapy (discogel)

A method of treating disc herniation using a gel that is injected percutaneously into the affected disc.

One of the causes of very strong pain in the spine can be a herniated disc.

A herniated disc is a bulging disc between two vertebrae. It can occur at all levels of the spine: cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine.

Disc herniation is usually treated with drugs and physical therapy, therefore conservatively, and only in severe cases with surgery. A new method of treatment is now available in Croatia for patients who are not helped by conservative treatment for a period longer than 2 months.

This new minimally invasive method of treatment through the injection of a special gel through the skin into the damaged and diseased disc itself is especially suitable for patients with disc herniation who are not helped by drugs or physical therapy.

It is also suitable for patients who are not candidates for classic surgery or do not want it.


The procedure lasts 20 to 40 minutes, is performed on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia, possibly with the addition of a mild sedative. The patient lies prone on the table, if a thoracic or lumbar disc herniation is being treated. For the cervical spine, an anterior approach is required, and the patient is on his back. The patient is under local anesthesia, awake and communicating with the doctor the whole time. Under the control of an x-ray machine, under strictly sterile conditions, the doctor injects the gel through a thin needle into the diseased disc. This specially formulated gel called DISCOGEL is based on alcohol, cellulose derivatives and tungsten. It works by causing a loss of fluid in the central part of the disc, its core, which leads to a reduction in pressure on the surrounding spinal nerves within a few hours to a few days. The gel fills the cracks inside the diseased disc. The disc herniation itself shrinks and recedes, which relieves the patient of long-term unpleasant pain.


After the procedure and rest for one to two hours, the patient is discharged home. There is no need to stay in the hospital or perform physical therapy after the gel treatment.

The healing results have a high success rate, 80% in treated patients. After the procedure, there is no scar formation and there is no damage to the surrounding tissue as in classic surgery.

As it is a minimally invasive procedure, recovery is relatively quick. Immediately after the procedure, the patient may be slightly dazed, due to the effect of local anesthesia and possibly received sedatives. For this reason, it is recommended that an adult be with the patient, who will take him home by car, because it is not recommended to drive a car that day.

After the procedure, you may still feel pain in the area of ​​the injection site, which passes within a few days, and full recovery occurs within three to a maximum of five weeks.

During the first week, you should avoid sitting, standing and walking for a long time, and driving a car that lasts more than 15 minutes continuously.

Resting in a comfortable position (lying down or semi-sitting) is recommended. After 2-3 weeks, light exercises and stretching are allowed to maintain muscle tone.

If the patient works on a sedentary job, you can expect to return to work after two to three weeks. If he does a more physically demanding job, the doctor treating the patient will decide on the time of return to work.


Contact us

Croatian Medical Association

Šubićeva street 9,
10000 Zagreb, CRO

E-mail: info[at]