05980504 is referenced by 306 patents and cites 159 patents.

An externally guidable intervertebral disc apparatus manipulates disc tissue present at a selected location of an intervertebral disc, comprising a catheter having a distal end, a proximal end, and a longitudinal axis, the catheter having an intradiscal section at the distal end of the catheter, the intradiscal section being extendible into the disc, having sufficient rigidity to be advanceable through the nucleus pulposus of the disc under a force applied longitudinally to the proximal end, having sufficient flexibility in a direction of the disc plane to be compliant with the inner wall, having insufficient penetration ability to be advanceable through the inner wall of the annulus fibrosus under the applied force; and a functional element located in the intradiscal section for adding or removing energy or a material at the selected location of the disc. Methods of using the apparatus are also disclosed.

Title
Method for manipulating tissue of an intervertebral disc
Application Number
8/881527
Publication Number
5980504
Application Date
June 24, 1997
Publication Date
November 9, 1999
Inventor
Le Trong Le
San Jose
CA, US
Jeffrey Saal
Portola Valley
CA, US
Joel Saal
Portola Valley
CA, US
John Ashley
San Francisco
CA, US
Hugh J Sharkey
Redwood City
CA, US
Agent
David J Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati Weitz
Assignee
Oratec Interventions
CA, US
IPC
A61N 1/40
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