06122549 is referenced by 325 patents and cites 147 patents.

An externally guidable intervertebral disc apparatus manipulates disc tissue at a selected location of an intervertebral disc. The apparatus comprises a catheter having a distal end, a proximal end and a longitudinal axis. The catheter has an intradiscal section at its distal end. The intradiscal section is extendible into the disc, has sufficient rigidity to be advanceable through the nucleus pulposus and around the annulus fibrosus of the disc under a force applied longitudinally to the proximal end, has sufficient flexibility in a direction of the disc plane to be compliant with the inner wall, and has insufficient penetration ability to be advanceable out through the annulus fibrosus under the applied force. A thermal energy delivery device is located in the intradiscal section for preferentially heating the selected location of the disc. The apparatus is used to locally and controllably heat but not char or burn tissue in a disc. Such heat shrinks the collagen component.

Title
Apparatus for treating intervertebral discs with resistive energy
Application Number
8/881525
Publication Number
6122549
Application Date
June 24, 1997
Publication Date
September 19, 2000
Inventor
Le T Le
San Jose
CA, US
Jeff 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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