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Surgical Pain Management

It’s more than “pain management.”

Surgical pain management (SPM) is a comprehensive and long-term pain solution for patients who have had an accurate diagnosis and pain generator identified. Once the pain mapping has identified the source of pain, our surgeons’ treatments are tailored to each patient’s specific needs.

These treatments may, by necessity, still involve nonsurgical methods practiced by interventional pain specialists. Your specific condition may not be conducive to the newly developed surgical pain management techniques. 

Rather than just teaching you how to “manage” your pain, this emerging new surgical subspecialty focuses on diagnosing and treating the SOURCE of your pain.

Surgical Pain Management Treatment Options

Surgical Pain Management can include nonsurgical, ultra or least invasive, and minimally invasive surgical procedures. Each treatment option category is selectively customized to the patient’s spine condition and the location of their pain generator.

Various professionals exist who focus on treating pain. However, physicians who practice PPM and SPM require specific education and training with the newer endoscopic visualized techniques called endoscopic spine surgery or the YESS technique developed by Dr. Yeung.

These new endoscopic techniques target the source of pain by allowing the surgeon direct visualized access within the spine. They are effective, safe, and have superior long-term results compared to pain management procedures.

As a leader in least invasive endoscopic spine surgery, DISC is bridging the gap between pain management and minimally invasive spine surgery.

Nonsurgical Treatment Options

  • Therapeutic Injections

  • Muscle Reconditioning
  • Optimal Joint Mobility
  • Flexibility Techniques

Pain Management Short-Term Relief for Low Back Pain

Pain management focuses on identifying and treating spine-related symptoms with repeated epidural steroid, medial branch, or trigger point injections. From a diagnostic standpoint, injections are crucial to selectively pinpointing a painful area of the spine.

For example, suppose a medial branch injection to facet joint for low back pain provides pain relief. In that case, a patient may benefit from a procedure called Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA). 

The RFA procedure is effective at temporarily disconnecting the pain signal in your low back. However, the RFA procedure is a short-term pain treatment with many patients back in pain within six to twelve months.  The percutaneous procedure done under X-ray does not allow the pain management physician to visualize the painful nerve. Although the pain physician can effectively put a lesion on the nerve, the nerve regenerates in 6-12 months.

Long-Term Surgical Solutions for Patients with Back Pain

Where pain management radiofrequency ablation provides short-term relief, an endoscopic rhizotomy significantly improves low back pain relief lasting up to five years. For many patients, this procedure is an excellent alternative to a lumbar spinal fusion.

The endoscopic rhizotomy procedure was invented and developed at DISC by Anthony Yeung, MD (retired). Dr. Yeung saw a need to improve upon a pain management procedure called radiofrequency ablation (RFA), performed without direct visualization under X-ray guidance.

Our surgeons directly visualize these nerves with an HD endoscope. They can ablate the nerve using a laser or radiofrequency probe with confidence, thus providing patients with long-term pain relief.  

Am I a Candidate for Surgical Pain Management?

To determine whether the DISC surgeons can help you, they may perform or repeat the diagnostic injections already provided by other specialists.

This is because there are subjective determinations in every test that require interpretation by the surgeon or pain specialist performing the injection procedures that can deviate by as much as 30 percent. 

When performing their own diagnostic and therapeutic injections, the surgeons at DISC have gained enough experience to determine the likelihood that they can provide pain relief for your particular condition.

The diagnostic tests performed elsewhere are apparent at times, so it is unnecessary to repeat the tests.

Your DISC surgeon will inform you if he can proceed with a surgical recommendation without these additional or repeat tests.

Am I a Candidate?
You may be a candidate for endoscopic spine surgery if you:
  • Have leg pain, numbness, tingling made worse by sitting or bending or arching your back

  • Are not any better after 4 – 6 weeks of conservative treatment including rest and physical therapy
  • Are not better after epidural blocks
  • Have an MRI, CT scan, CT myelogram, or discogram showing a disc herniation

Due to evolving physicians treatment methodology, certain degenerative conditions, if not too severe, can be helped, but only after individual evaluation of each patient and their response to evocative discography, and other diagnostic injections can our surgeons tell if the endoscopic procedure is recommended for you.

If, after reading the above, you believe endoscopic spine surgery may help you, download and complete our Request a Consultation Form.

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1635 E. Myrtle • Suite 400 • Phoenix, AZ 85020
Ph: 602-944-2900 • Fax: 602-944-0064