Because pain management specialists treat patients of all ages with diverse conditions and varied lifestyles the physicians at Paradigm Spine Care are committed to exploring nonsurgical options first. Patients’ individual needs are met through comprehensive evaluation and treatment designed to help them achieve active, pain-free lifestyles. The patient and their relatives are encouraged to ask questions, discuss treatment options and to take an active role in the entire process.
When surgery does become necessary, Paradigm physicians utilize the latest minimally invasive techniques to minimize trauma and restore the patient’s quality of life in the shortest time possible.
Common procedures performed include:
Epidural Steroid Injection
Irritation of the nerves that run along the spinal cord often are the cause of pain in the arms, neck, legs, or back. With an epidural steroid injection, the doctor injects a small amount of numbing medicine and a steroid into the space around the nerve. The steroid helps reduce inflammation that often happens with a bulging or herniated disc or with spinal stenosis. With the decrease in inflammation, there will also be a decrease in pain.
Facet Joint Injection
Facets are small joints in the spine. They help support the spine and allow for back movement. With age arthritis can develop in a facet joint, making movement painful. The usual symptom is back or neck pain. The pain may or may not be felt in the arms or legs. Most people find the pain gets worse with stretching or turning movements of the back.
Intrathecal Pain Pump
An intrathecal pain pump delivers pain medicine through a small tube called a catheter directly to the spinal nerves. Because the pain medicine goes directly into the spinal nerves, better pain control is achieved with far less medication than if taken by mouth or through an IV. The ITP implantation is a two part process. A trial is performed first. If successful, the permanent pain pump is implanted under the skin. Pain Pumps are used for people with cancer pain.
Percutaneous Discography is a diagnostic procedure that is performed prior to back surgery to identify which level of the spine needs fusion. It is usually performed at three levels of vertebrae: the suspected problem level, the level above and the level below.
This procedure is performed to help people that have lower back and leg pain that is caused by a herniated disc. The doctor inserts a hollow tube through the skin and into the center of the disc and then removes a small amount of the disc material.
Radiofrequency used to relieve chronic nerve pain by interrupting pain signals from the legs and lower back that are carried up the spinal cord to the brain. Radiofrequency can be performed in a continuous manner or in short bursts of current which is called pulsed radiofrequency.
Spinal Cord Stimulator
A spinal cord stimulator provides pain relief for persons suffering from chronic moderate to moderately-severe nerve related pain. The SCS generates an electrical stimulus which decreases pain intensity by creating a warm, soothing sensation. The spinal cord stimulator implantation is a two part process. A trial is performed first. If successful, the permanent SCS generator about the size of a half-dollar is implanted under the skin, in the lower area of the back.
Sympathetic blocks are used help eliminate pain associated with pancreatic cancer, pelvic and rectal pain and complex regional pain syndrome. The most common sympathetic blocks are the: stellate ganglion, superior hypogastric, ganglion impar and celiac plexus. Sometimes our doctor also uses this injection as a diagnostic tool to help determine the cause of the pain.
Vertebroplasty and Kyphoplasty
Spinal fractures are a common disease in the elderly and in post-menopausal women due to osteoporosis related bone density loss. Vertebroplasty involves an injection of bone cement into the damaged vertebrae. The hardened cement stabilizes the bone. Doing this reduces or eliminates the pain.
In addition to being a treatment spinal fractures a vertebroplasty can be help reduce the pain caused by spinal bone cancer. The doctor removes a portion of the bone cancer creating a cavity, which is then filled with the bone cement. The procedure stabilizes the damaged vertebrae which helps reduce the pain.
With Kyphoplasty, a small balloon is inserted into the fractured vertebrae through a hollow needle. When air is injected into the balloon, the height of the damaged vertebrae is restored. The balloon is removed and the special bone cement is put into the newly created space. By stabilizing the vertebral fracture, the injected cement reduces or eliminates the pain.