Oxygen-ozone therapy for herniated lumbar disc in patients with subacute partial motor weakness due to nerve root compression

Massimo Dall'Olio, Ciro Princiotta, Luigi Cirillo, Caterina Budai, Fabio De Santis, Stefano Bartolini, Elena Serchi, Marco Leonardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Intradiscal oxygen-ozone (O2-O3) chemonucleolysis is a well-known effective treatment for pain caused by protruding disc disease and nerve root compression due to bulging or herniated disc. The most widely used therapeutic combination is intradiscal injection of an O2-O3 mixture (chemonucleolysis), followed by periradicular injection of O2-O3, steroid and local anaesthetic to enhance the anti-inflammatory and analgesic effect. The treatment is designed to resolve pain and is administered to patients without motor weakness, whereas patients with acute paralysis caused by nerve root compression undergo surgery 24-48h after the onset of neurological deficit. This paper reports on the efficacy of O2-O3 chemonucleolysis associated with anti-inflammatory foraminal injection in 13 patients with low back pain and cruralgia, low back pain and sciatica and subacute partial motor weakness caused by nerve root compression unresponsive to medical treatment. All patients were managed in conjunction with our colleagues in the Neurosurgery Unit of Bellaria Hospital and the IRC-CS Institute of Neurological Sciences, Bologna. The outcomes obtained are promising: 100% patients had a resolution of motor weakness, while 84.6% had complete pain relief. Our results demonstrate that O2-O3 therapy can be considered a valid treatment option for this category of patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)547-554
Number of pages8
JournalInterventional Neuroradiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1 2014


  • Herniated lumbar disc
  • Low back pain
  • Motor weakness
  • Nerve root compression
  • Oxygen-ozone therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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