Many people suffer from constant and debilitating back pain. It can be difficult to find a physician who can effectively diagnose back pain, and even if a reason for the pain can be determined, surgical treatment may be too risky to attempt. Pain medication may not work well enough, or it may only work for a while until the condition worsens.
Our doctors have specialized in determining the cause of back pain so that they can effectively diagnose and treat your pain. Through years of experience, they've developed techniques to pinpoint the cause of your back pain. Our doctors can provide a wide range of treatments to cure your back pain with minimally invasive procedures that require only a short recovery time, no stitches, and no overnight stay.
Back pain can be difficult to diagnose because pressure on the nerves along the spine can cause pain to appear far from the actual damage or disorder that is causing it. Our doctors have developed a comprehensive approach to diagnosing back pain that takes advantage of fluoroscopic-guided physical examination to determine the location of pain-causing disorder or injury. In combination with a specific algorithm for identifying the causes of back pain, we can pinpoint the location and reason for your back pain, so we can offer the most effective treatment to give you relief and let you return to an active life.
The most commonly misdiagnosed or underdiagnosed disorders that cause back pain are:
- disc disorders - disorders of the spongy discs between the vertebrae in the spine, such as herniation or rupture.
- facet arthopathy - a disorder of the facet joints in the lower back.
- failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS) - chronic pain resulting from back surgery, either because the surgery was misdirected or as a result of the surgery itself.
- neuropathy - "phantom pain" that is caused by damaged or malfunctioning nerves.
- sacroiliac joint disorders - disorders of the joints between the tailbone (sacrum) and hipbones (ilia)
- vertebral fractures - simple fractures or compression fractures of the vertebral bones in the spine.
Our doctors have specialized in diagnosing back pain, and have had experience in diagnosing and treating each of the disorders listed above.
Even when the reason for back pain is known, many people still suffer because they've been told that they are not candidates for surgery and pain relief medication alone is not sufficient to control their pain. Surgeons have historically been reluctant to perform open surgery on the spine because the risk of permanent and debilitating injury is too high. The field of interventional radiology offers several innovative treatment options that can effectively and safely reduce or eliminate your back pain.
Back pain caused by fractures of the vertebrae in the spine can be quickly treated with vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty. These procedures shore up the fractured or compressed vertebrae, immediately relieving pressure on the nerves. They also prevent a compressed vertebrae from causing further damage or permanent deformity of the spine.
For back pain that is caused by disc disorders, such as a herniated disc, our doctors can locate the particular disc or discs that are causing your pain by using discography, then repair the damaged discs with DISC Nucleoplasty / percutaneous discectomy or IDET (IntraDiscal Electrothermal Therapy). Occasionally, it is not possible to treat the source of the pain. In those cases, we can use epidural steroid injections to relieve the pain.
In some cases, such as neuropathic back pain or failed back surgery syndrome, the cause of the back pain cannot be treated but the pain itself can be relieved by the use of the spinal cord stimulator.