Facet joint injections are used to alleviate pain-related symptoms, and involve the use of a local anesthetic. The procedure will typically last between 10 and 30 minutes in total, and the effect is often immediate. The injection itself is administered to one or several of the small joints lining the vertebrae. Depending on how many joints are involved, more than one injection may be administered at a time. The injected steroids will typically begin working within 2 days to a week, and the pain-relieving effects can be quite long-lasting.
Radiofrequency rhizotomy was originally developed to help alleviate pain related to nerve damage. This therapeutic procedure involves eliminating the damaged nerves; this process is completed using highly localized heat – heat that is generated by radiofrequency. While this is a non-surgical procedure, it is typically only considered when more non-invasive procedures have been rendered ineffective. If you have been suffering from nerve pain for an extended period of time, and other methods of pain treatment have been unsuccessful, you may be a good candidate for RF Rhizotomy.
Epidural steroid injections are an effective and minimally invasive treatment for lower back and leg pain. This specific technique involves corticosteroids and a local anesthetic, which are injected into the epidural space around the spinal cord. This method has been known to improve spinal stenosis, spinal disc herniation, or both, and can last for an extended period of time. The anesthetic often takes effect immediately, and the steroid itself begins working in between 2 and 7 days. This method is essentially painless, and can greatly benefit those who have experienced little success by way of more conservative treatment methods.
Nerve blocks are used to deliberately interrupt signals traveling along a nerve, and can result in quick and effective pain relief. A nerve-numbing medication is injected into a specific part of the body, and pain located in this specific body part or organ can be successfully alleviated. When this medication is injected, pain signals are essentially “turned off”, and the concerned individual can quickly return to his or her daily regime. The goal of nerve blocks is usually to avoid surgery; this specific treatment method has proven to be an effective and fast-acting alternative to more invasive procedures.
This specific procedure refers to the surgical filling of a vertebrae that has either been injured or has collapsed entirely. The goal of this procedure is to return the affected vertebrae to its original shape, and in doing so, relieve pain that results from spinal compression. This procedure is surgical and considered invasive, thus it is often utilized as a last resort. If you have been suffering from unresolved back pain for an extended period of time, kyphoplasty may be an ideal treatment option for you.
Radiofrequency ablation is a relatively successful procedure, with about a 50 percent success rate in the reduction of pain. This specific procedure utilizes an electrical current (produced by a radio wave), which is used to heat up a small area of dysfunctional tissue. The nerve that is sending pain signals to the brain will be burned by the electrical current, resulting in a vast reduction of pain. While the long-term success rate is relatively low in comparison with other treatment methods, those who do experience success may undergo a significant alleviation of pain-related symptoms for up to 2 years.
Our professionally experienced and compassionate team of physicians will conduct a thorough and highly personalized evaluation, taking time to diagnose all underlying conditions and delve into personal medical history. Once this evaluation has been completed, we will work on developing an individualized treatment plan. We at Comprehensive Pain of the Palm Beaches are dedicated to beginning every recovery process with a comprehensive medical evaluation.
If we conclude that spinal cord stimulation would be an effective and appropriate treatment method, we will begin with a spinal cord stimulator trial (before considering permanent implantation). During the trial period, the wires that transmit current will be implanted near the spinal canal. An external transmitter will send electrical pulses to contacts located near the spinal cord. The trial will typically occur over the span of between 5 and 7 days. During this period, the patient will be asked to record the changes in his or her pain levels during the day and at night. If pain alleviation is significant, permanent implantation will be strongly considered.
Intrathecal pump implantations work to relieve chronic pain by delivering small amounts of potent medication directly to the intrathecal space (the area immediately surrounding the spinal cord). This medication works to prevent pain signal reception; the brain does not receive pain-related signals, and symptoms of chronic pain are greatly reduced. The pump system is implanted between the skin of the abdomen and the muscle, and it carries the medication to the nerves and the spinal cord. While this treatment method is more invasive, it has proven extremely effective in relieving chronic pain.
Unfortunately, those who experience acute or chronic pain will often turn to narcotic painkillers in attempts to alleviate symptoms. Narcotic painkillers are exceedingly addictive, and only provide short-term relief – this combination may lead to an increased tolerance, increased use, and an eventual habit. We prefer to treat pain-related conditions without the use of habit-forming narcotics. In some instances, detoxification may be necessary. Our team of licensed and experienced physicians will help develop a safe and effective detox plan, so that other treatment methods prove to be more effective in the long-run.
Dr. Gatz has been practicing Pain Medicine for nearly 2 decades. He began his medical education by earning his Bachelors in Arts from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska in 1991. He then went on to earn his Doctor of Medicine degree from University of Nebraska College of Medicine in Omaha, Nebraska in1993.
After completing his internship at Creighton University Medical Center, in 1994, Dr. Gatz completed his Anesthesiology residency at Kansas University Medical Center and his Anesthesiology and Pain Management fellowship at the Medical University of South Carolina, in 1998.
Comprehensive Pain of the Palm Beaches uses a patient centered approach to develop an appropriate treatment plan to help each patient overcome their pain.
- State-of-the-art Digital Imaging System
- High Quality Pain Diagnosis
- Nearly 2 decades of Pain Management Experience
- Fellowship Trained in Pain Management
- Board Certified in Anesthesia
- On-site Procedure Rooms
- Non-surgical and Surgical Care Customized to Your Needs
- Individually Tailored Pain Management Treatment
- Results Oriented Treatment
- South Florida’s Dedicated Full-service Pain Management Clinic