IPI In-House Services

Epidural Steroid Injections

Epidural Steroid Injections

This injection procedure is performed to treat the pain of an inflamed nerve in your spine. If you have a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, or some other problem that is pressing on a nerve, it may help you. Steroid medication can reduce the swelling and inflammation caused by spinal conditions. The steroid medication is injected into the epidural space, which is the space around the inflamed nerve. It bathes the painful nerve and relieves pain and swelling. In some cases, it may be necessary to repeat the procedure as many as three times to get the full benefit of the medication. Many patients get significant relief from only one or two injections.

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Facet Joint Injections

Facet Joint Injections

The facet joints, which are found on both sides of the back of the spine, can become painfully irritated or inflamed. A facet joint injection may help diagnose the source of a patient’s pain. It can also help relieve pain and inflammation. Back or neck pain may disappear immediately after a successful injection because of the anesthetic medication that is administered. As the anesthetic wears off, pain may return; however, the steroid medication will begin to take effect in the days after the injection. The steroid will reduce inflammation and pain, providing relief for a span ranging from several days to several months.

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Selective Nerve Root Blocks

Selective Nerve Root Blocks

These injections target a painful nerve in the spine. It helps the physician find which specific nerve is being pressed on by a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, or some other problem. It may result in pain relief. This is a diagnostic injection, and any relief experienced will be temporary because as the anesthetic wears off the pain may return.

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Medial Branch Blocks

Medial Branch Blocks

This is an injection of numbing medicine. It bathes the medial branch nerves, which attach to the facet joints of the spine. These nerves hurt when the facet joints are injured or diseased. The injection helps find the source of pain, and it may relieve pain for a brief time. The medication injected temporarily numbs the nerves. If the injected area is the source of the pain, there will be immediate pain relief. The pain relief may last for a few hours, but pain may increase as the anesthetic medication wears off. If the block was successful, a radiofrequency ablation may be recommended for long lasting relief.

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Radiofrequency Ablations

Radiofrequency Ablations

During this minimally invasive procedure, the physician uses heat from radio waves to treat painful facet joints. This procedure is also called radiofrequency rhizotomy. It can treat pain that doesn’t respond to medications or physical therapy. The physician uses an electrode to heat the nerve, and this disrupts its ability to transmit pain signals. When the procedure is complete, the injection site may feel sore and there may still be back pain. If the pain causing nerves were treated, the patient will gradually experience pain relief as they heal, which may take several weeks. Once healed, pain relief may last many months.

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Monitored Anesthesia Care

Monitored Anesthesia Care

Conscious sedation is a type of anesthesia that makes the patient feel very relaxed. It reduces the awareness of pain. It is not intended to put the patient to sleep and will wear off quickly after a procedure. Conscious sedation is administered through an IV and will make a patient feel relaxed and groggy. Often the patient will fall asleep. A sleeping patient can be awakened easily to respond to questions and commands. The patient will not remember any pain from the procedure. When the anesthesia wears off, some side effects are common. Patients may feel sleepy and confused, they may have a headache or feel nauseous. These symptoms usually go away quickly. Patients who have had conscious sedation administered may not drive for 24 hours.

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Trigger Point Injections

Trigger Point Injections

This outpatient procedure is designed to reduce or relieve the pain of trigger points. These small, tender knots can form in muscles or in the fascia. The trigger point injection only takes a few minutes to complete. The physician injects an anesthetic mixture into the trigger point. This causes the trigger point to relax. If the trigger point does not relax completely after the first injection, the physician may adjust the needle position and give additional injections. When the injection is complete, the patient may be encouraged to stretch and move the muscle.

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Spinal Cord Stimulator Trials

Spinal Cord Stimulator Trials

Spinal Cord Stimulation (also called SCS) uses electrical impulses to relieve chronic pain of the back, arms and legs. It is believed that electrical pulses prevent pain signals from being received by the brain. SCS candidates include people who suffer from neuropathic pain, and for whom conservative treatments have failed. If a patient is deemed a good candidate for an SCS, they will have to get psychological clearance from a mental health professional before they can be scheduled for the trial. At the trial, electrodes at the end of a lead produce electrical pulses that stimulate the nerves, blocking pain signals are inserted into the epidural space. The patient gives feedback to help the physician determine where to place the leads to best block the pain. The leads are connected to an external trial stimulator, which will be used for one week to help determine if the SCS will help the patient. If the patient finds the one-week trial to be successful in helping their pain, they will be recommended for a permanent implantation of the SCS.

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Intrathecal Pain Pump Trials

Intrathecal Pain Pump Trials

An intrathecal pain pump relieves chronic pain. It uses small amounts of medicine applied directly to the intrathecal space (the area surrounding the spinal cord) to prevent pain signals from being perceived by the brain. Pump candidates include people for whom conservative treatments have failed and surgery is not likely to help. During the trial, pain medication is injected into the intrathecal space. The patient is monitored closely, and their pain is rated. If pain decreases during the trial, a permanent system may be implanted.

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