MENLO PARK, Calif., Oct. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- ORATEC Interventions, Inc. (Nasdaq: OTEC) today announced that two peer reviewed articles in the October 2000 edition of SPINE journal show the effectiveness of the company's SpineCATH IntraDiscal ElectroThermal Therapy (IDET(TM)) system with a minimum one year follow-up. The studies report that the majority of patients treated with IDET experience a significant reduction in pain and improvement in physical function. These clinical results are consistent with other research that has been previously published or presented on IDET. The company believes that these additional peer reviewed journal articles will provide payors and health care providers further support in offering IDET to their customers and patients. Studies Show Consistent Results The first article discusses a case-control study which was conducted by Michael Karasek, M.D., past president of the International Spinal Injection Society (ISIS) and chairman of Sacred Heart Medical Center's Pain Department in Eugene, Oregon, and Nikolai Bogduk, M.D., of the Newcastle Bone and Joint Institute, University of Newcastle, in Australia. "Twelve-Month Follow-Up of a Controlled Trial of Intradiscal Thermal Anuloplasty for Back Pain Due to Internal Disc Disruption" compared 36 patients treated with IDET and a control group of 17 patients treated with rehabilitation therapy. The two groups suffered from low back pain for an average of two and one-half years. One year after undergoing treatment, 60 percent of the IDET patients reported both pain relief of 50 percent or greater and their return to work. In contrast, only six percent of the control group experienced the same level of pain relief. The second article reports on a prospective study titled "Intradiscal Electrothermal Treatment for Chronic Discogenic Low Back Pain: A Prospective Outcome Study with Minimum 1-Year Follow-Up" and was co-authored by Jeff Saal, M.D., who is past president of the North American Spine Society (NASS), and Joel Saal, M.D. They are assistant clinical professors at Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, California. Their study included 62 patients who had chronic, unremitting low back pain for an average of 5 years, and were unresponsive to non-operative care, such as physical therapy and steroid injections. Each patient had been offered the choice of chronic pain management, spinal fusion surgery, or the minimally invasive IDET procedure. An average of 16 months after treatment, more than 70 percent of the study's patients showed significant decreases in pain and increases in activity. In addition, the study noted, "Ninety-seven percent (97%) of the private pay patients and 83% of the worker's compensation patients returned to work." Dr. Jeff Saal will be presenting the latest two year follow-up data at the NASS meeting in New Orleans on Thursday, October 26. Reprints of the two SPINE articles will be available from ORATEC by telephone at 888-996-1996 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. ORATEC Interventions develops and markets innovative medical devices that use controlled thermal energy to treat spine and joint disorders. The company currently markets two minimally invasive systems, the SpineCATH IDET system to treat chronic low back pain caused by degenerative disc disease and the ElectroThermal Arthroscopy System to treat joint disorders. Its proprietary systems use heat to modify, cut, or remove damaged or stretched soft tissue. The company markets its products to orthopedic surgeons, neurosurgeons, and pain management specialists. More than 2,700 physicians have performed over 185,000 procedures using ORATEC's technologies. Except for historical information, the statements in this news release are forward-looking statements involving risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in such forward-looking statements. Potential risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the need for physicians to support the use of the company's products, the need to establish reimbursement from payors, the company's lack of long term clinical results, the need for market acceptance of the company's products, the company's need to train physicians, and the company's need to comply with FDA and other regulations. Further information regarding these and other risks is included in the company's report on Form 10-Q, filed with the SEC. CONTACT: Nancy V. Westcott, Chief Financial Officer and Vice President Administration, of ORATEC Interventions, Inc., 650-369-9904, or fax, 650-369-9905, or email@example.com.
SOURCE ORATEC Interventions, Inc.