DIAGNOSTIC PAIN MANAGEMENT
Traditional pain management focuses on treating symptoms with periodic epidural steroid injections, trigger point injection or sometimes radiofrequency ablation. Too often patients get some relief but have to return in a few months because the underlying cause is not addressed. Diagnostic and interventional pain management identifies and addresses the root cause. Some physicians have taken the time to acquire specific training in new surgical techniques using the most advanced working channel endoscope. These new techniques allow the interventional pain management physician to directly visual and address the pain generator that is the root cause of neck, back and leg pain.
Unlike some physicians that teach you to manage your pain because they may or may not have a solution for your pain, the emerging new surgical subspecialty focuses on finding the source of the pain and treating it surgically. Once the pain source is identified, a specific surgical treatment can be tailored to each individual patient. Some patients will get success from traditional non-surgical treatments practiced by pain management because your condition is not severe enough to warrant surgical intervention. On the other hand, when appropriately selected patients are candidates they may receive benefits from less invasive surgical procedures such as endoscopically assisted radiofrequency rhizotomy and Open endoscopically assisted tubular retractor surgery options that can provide significant pain relief.
Facet Joint Block: The facet joints are found on both sides of the spine. These joints can become very painfully irritated and inflamed. A facet joint injection can pinpoint the root cause and diagnosis for patients suffering from back pain. This injection can also relieve pain and inflammation temporarily. The injection itself contains a soothing anesthetic and anti-inflammatory steroid.
Medial Branch Block: Patients suffering from chronic back pain often have painful facet joints. There pain is better when leaning forward but when they lean back they get sharp pain or spasm. The medial branch nerve is an extension from the exiting nerve of the spinal cord that innervates the facet joint and the primary muscles that support your back. These small nerves communicate pain from your back to your brain. The physician uses a medial branch block for two reasons: first, diagnostically to pinpoint the root cause of your back pain and secondly, therapeutically to block the nerves with anesthetic and sometimes anti-inflammatory steroid providing the patients with relief. If the patient receives at least 50% pain relief then when the anesthetic wears off the patient may benefit from a rhizotomy.
Nerve Root Block – The injection (anesthetic and anti-inflammatory steroid) is used diagnostically to correlate and pinpoint the patients pain in the back, leg or foot caused by a herniated disc, sciatica or spinal stenosis. The physician also correlates the injection at the appropriate spinal level and side of the patient from their findings on your MRI or CT Scan. This injection often provides relief of the pain for some entirely but others short term. When the patient gets pain relief from the injection, but the pain comes back, they may be a candidate for an Open Endoscopically Assisted Tubular Retractor Surgery or endoscopic assisted foraminalplasty.
Intradiscal Discography – Patients suffering from disabling chronic low back pain caused by degenerative lumbar discs or referred to as discogenic back pain can benefit from a diagnostic injection of radiopaque dye and anesthetic which pinpoints to the physician the correct disc that is causing the pain. Often times these injections reproduces the pain the patient suffers from but is temporary.
The Jasper Spine Institute Interventional Pain Management Advantage:
- Less than ¼ inch incision
- Less post-operative pain and recovery than traditional minimally invasive procedures
- Outpatient procedure with patients discharged within 2 hours of surgery
- Return to work within 3-5 days*
At Jasper Spine Institute we listen and work with you to develop a unique treatment regime that addresses your pain and symptoms. Our goal is always to provide solutions whether conservative or surgical so that you are able to return to the quality of life you want without the pain and suffering.
* Always seek your physician’s opinion when it is safe to return to work. Also, light administrative duty is recommended until your physician approves of any physical demands at your place of work.