Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications are often the first treatment utilized to relieve chronic pain. Corticosteroids and stronger prescription medications such as Morphine may also be recommended as an initial treatment. Our doctors try to minimize pharmaceutical treatment by recommending appropriate alternate techniques whenever possible.
Percutaneous Disc Decompression
A percutaneous discectomy - also known as "disc decompression" - is a surgical procedure that removes part of an impinged intervertebral disc in order to relieve pain, weakness and numbness throughout the body. It is usually reserved for patients with severe symptoms that do not respond to more conservative treatments, and significantly affect the patient's quality of life. The discectomy procedure is performed under general anesthesia. An incision is made from which the herniated section of the disc is removed using a "decompresser."
Radiofrequency Nerve Ablation
The nervous system of the body is the network through which important messages are sent at extremely high speeds. These messages can be vital to the human's survival, but in some cases can be too inflated or erroneous in nature. In these cases, the extra notes transferring through the system can be converted into disproportionate amounts of pain, especially when a nerve cord itself is disturbed. Radiofrequency nerve ablation is used to dull these messages superficially, so they either cease to exist or resemble the relevant amount of pain.
A radiofrequency neurotomy is a treatment option for facet joint pain that uses heat to interrupt pain signals sent to the brain. It is administered as an injection of heat onto the medial branch nerves, which carry pain signals from the facet joints. The heat creates a lesion that interrupts the signals sent from these nerves and therefore relieves pain.
The pain relief from this procedure generally lasts 9-14 months, although it can last for up to 2 years for some patients. Others may not experience any relief from the procedure. Results are usually felt 2-3 weeks after the neurotomy. This procedure may be repeated if the pain recurs. While a neurotomy destroys nerve signals and the ability to feel certain joints, there is no evidence that this will cause later injury or damage to other joints.
We offer radiofrequency neurotomy treatments for the cervical facet (neck/shoulder), lumbar (lower back), and thoracic facet (upper back) areas of the spine.
Contact our office to learn more about our Therapeutic Services or to schedule an appointment.