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A 37-year-old member asked:

Trypsin and chymotrypsin to treat a herniated disc?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Michael Bolesta
Orthopedic Surgery 41 years experience
Less popular now: These enzymes dissolve the disk and so lead to indirect decompression of the nerves. They are used less frequently since they tend to increase low back pain (probably by shrinking and destabilizing the disk). Chymopapain is associated with rare by very serious complications (transverse myelitis, anaphylaxis).
Dr. Qamar Khan
Pain Management 18 years experience
Depends: If you've done the physical therapy and no relief, then injections like epidural steroid injections or facet joint injections may be the next treatment options. There is growing evidence that stem cell therapies can also be helpful and heal tissues but are not covered by insurance at this time. Trypsin/Chymotrypsin has been used however still considered investigational and does not heal tissue.

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Last updated Jul 28, 2014
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