What the PODD Method Is

Percutaneous Ozone Disc Decompression

PODD is a method that improves low back pain due to discitis or herniated discs or nerve pain due to spinal stenosis by using a 0.8 mm puncture needle to inject ozone into the intervertebral disc’s nucleus pulposus. We cannot say that the particulars of ozone’s anti-inflammatory effect have been elucidated, but it is thought that, by stimulating the inside of the body, ozone treatment intentionally produces a strong immune response and puts an end in a short time to any inflammation that has occurred. The ozone itself is only injected inside the intervertebral disc, but the treatable conditions are not confined to herniated discs: the treatment is also effective for spinal stenosis or vertebral canal stenosis. The reason is believed to be that the ozone injected into the intervertebral disc passes through the damaged disc and permeates surrounding tissue.

How the PODD (Percutaneous Ozone Disc Decompression) Method Is Done

With the patient under local anesthesia, and while using an X-ray fluoroscope, we safely place a 0.8 mm puncture needle into the intervertebral disc. After that, we inject ozone in proportion to the state of the damage. We finish by checking with the X-ray fluoroscope whether ozone has permeated into and outside of the intervertebral disc.

Treatable Conditions

  • Herniated Discs
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Intervertebral Disc Degeneration

Candidates Are People with These Kinds of Problems

  • 1

    Those diagnosed with herniated discs, spinal stenosis, or intervertebral disc degeneration

  • 2

    Those suffering from chronic low back pain caused by herniated discs, spinal stenosis, or intervertebral disc degeneration

  • 3

    Those considering surgery for herniated discs, spinal stenosis, or intervertebral disc degeneration but who do not want to undergo surgery

  • 4

    Those who have undergone herniated disc surgery but not improved (or whose condition has recurred)

  • 5

    Those afraid of surgery for herniated discs, spinal stenosis, or intervertebral disc degeneration

  • 6

    Those who do not want to be hospitalized for surgery for herniated discs, spinal stenosis, or intervertebral disc degeneration

  • 7

    Those hoping for treatment for herniated discs, spinal stenosis, or intervertebral disc degeneration that takes less of a toll on the body

※We can also treat older people (80 years or above).

The Benefits of PODD Method

  • Almost No Scar Will Be Left

    Since only a small needle is inserted without making an incision, almost no scar will be left.

  • Outpatient Treatment That Takes Less of a Toll

    PODD is a treatment that is even less invasive (takes less of a toll on the body) than PLDD. Treatment takes about 15 minutes, and you will need to rest for about 60 minutes afterwards. You can go home in about 90 minutes.

  • No Need for Continued Hospital Visits or Rehabilitation

    Because no continued hospital visits or rehabilitation is necessary after treatment, it’s easy even for those who come from far away to return to their daily lives and work.

How Treatment Is Done and Treatable Conditions

PODD stands for “percutaneous ozone disc decompression.” It is a treatment in which, using X-ray fluoroscopy from the back, we pierce into the intervertebral disc with a 0.8 mm puncture needle and inject ozone from the tip of the inserted needle.
The treatment removes the part that is the root cause of pain by injecting ozone into the protruding intervertebral disc (its nucleus pulposus) and shrinking the protruding nucleus pulposus by means of ozone oxidation.
In addition, PODD treatment is possible even in cases when PLDD treatment or hybrid laser treatment is not suitable.
PODD treatment takes less of a toll when compared with surgery, PLDD treatment, or hybrid laser treatment, and it is one effective treatment method for mild to moderate herniation for which surgery is not indicated.
Furthermore, because ozone has an anti-inflammatory effect, it is also an effective treatment for pain from inflammation.
At our clinic, we have a lineup of treatments—PLDD, PODD, hybrid laser treatment, PIDD, and DST(Discseel™) treatment —to suit your symptoms and situation. We therefore only perform PODD treatment when it has been determined that it will be highly effective.

PODD treatment is effective for herniated discs with especially high internal pressure that have not prolapsed from the ligaments and have mild to moderate herniation. In cases of prolapse or separation, PIDD or DST(Discseel™) will be an effective treatment method.


Ozone is injected through the tip of the inserted needle.

As a result, the volume of the herniated disc is decreased by means of ozone oxidation, and pressure on the nerves is reduced.

Treatment Time and Post-Treatment Issues

Treatment time
approx. 15 minutes

You will need to rest for about 60 minutes after treatment, and it will be about 90 minutes until you can go home. Light activity can be done the following day, but you will need to postpone sports or heavy labor for around 7 days.

About Post-Treatment Issues
The problem is that the recurrence rate is said to be equally as high as with conventional surgery. That is because intervertebral disc damage cannot be improved as in DST (Discseel™ treatment).
About Side Effects
There are no reports of nerve damage among our own cases or in articles. However, there is an extremely slight, but existent, possibility of an allergic reaction to the local anesthetic.

Treatment Flow

  • InquiryInquiry


    We are an appointment-only clinic, so before you decide to visit us please call us to make an appointment. For further information or if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

  • Remote Image Diagnostic ServiceRemote Image Diagnostic Service

    Remote Image Diagnostic Service

    To ensure in that you are a good candidate for treatment at the clinic prior to your visit to Japan, you can forward us a recent MRI for our doctor to review and determine for free. If you are located nearby and you wish to undergo the MRI and X-ray scan at our clinic, you can call us to make an appointment.

  • Choose Operation DateChoose Operation Date

    Choose Operation Date

    If your diagnose confirms that your condition makes you a good candidate for treatment, you can proceed with scheduling the operation date.

  • Travel PreparationsTravel Preparations

    Travel Preparations

    Hospitalization is not required, so you will be discharged on the same day of the treatment. Obtaining a Japanese tourist visa will be enough, in case you are required to have one to enter the country. Patients are supposed to take care of their own visas, travel and accommodation arrangements.

  • Pre-treatment ConsultationPre-treatment Consultation

    Pre-treatment Consultation

    Upon arrival to the clinic the patient undergoes MRI and X-ray scan and an examination by the physician in charge, who according to the final diagnose determines the most suitable treatment option, followed by a detailed explanation.

  • TreatmentTreatment


    Treatment is conducted under local anesthesia, and it takes about 15-60 minutes, depending on the treatment method and number of treated discs.

  • Same-Day DischargeSame-Day Discharge

    Same-Day Discharge

    After resting for 1~2 hours and receiving a post-operative check by the operating physician, the patient is discharged and free to return home.

  • 8

    Post-treatment Follow-up

    We will contact you periodically to monitor your recovery progress. You should also feel free to contact us if you are unsure about anything.

Treatment Costs for the PODD Method

Locations Treated 1 disc 2 discs 3 discs 4 discs 5 discs
Cost of Treatment 330,000 Japanese Yen (JPY) 385,000 Japanese Yen (JPY) 440,000 Japanese Yen (JPY) 495,000 Japanese Yen (JPY) 550,000 Japanese Yen (JPY)
*If the procedure is performed in our hospital, all the costs of consultation, diagnosis, MRI and other tests will be included in the costs listed above.
*If the same treatment is performed again within 3 years of the first treatment, the treatment fees will be reduced by half.
*All taxes included.
*Since this method of treatment is not covered by health insurance, the patient must bear the entire cost of the treatment.
*In case of treatment only (one day treatment), We accept payment by credit card (VISA, MasterCard, China UnionPay).
*If you wish to request rehabilitation (specialized for back pain), bank transfer by credit card is also accepted.
*You can receive a tax refund at the time of filing your tax return for medical expenses.

5 Types of Outpatient Treatment for Low Back Pain

  • The DST Method (Discseel™)

    An intervertebral disc treatment that began in the United States in the 2010s. Can be suitable for a wide range of conditions, including problems in patients after surgery. It is the only (※2)treatment that can repair and regenerate intervertebral discs.
    ※2 According to research by Operation Japan (Ltd.)

    Click here for details.
  • The PIDD Method (Implant)

    An implant intervertebral disc treatment that has been conducted since the 2000s. As with PLDD, results without injury to intervertebral discs can be anticipated. This treatment is suitable for herniated discs only.

    Click here for details.
  • Hybrid Laser Treatment

    A treatment that combines the benefits of PLDD and PODD. This treatment is suitable for herniated discs only.

    Click here for details.
  • The PODD Method (Ozone)

    An ozone intervertebral disc treatment that has been conducted mainly in Europe since the 1990s. It can be suitable for a wide range of conditions.

    Click here for details.
  • The PLDD Method (Laser)

    An outpatient, laser intervertebral disc treatment that has been well known worldwide since the 1980s. This treatment is suitable for herniated discs only.

    Click here for details.