Image-Guided Interventional Pain Management Services Now Offered at LRH
Lakes Regional Healthcare (LRH) recently expanded its radiology coverage. Dr. Myerly, who has provided radiology services at LRH for 27 years, has expanded his hours. In addition, Radiologists Dr. Crouch, Dr. Skopec, Dr. Shaffer, and Radiology Practitioner Assistant Shad Helle have received medical staff privileges and are providing additional coverage at LRH. According to LRH Radiology Manager Tracy Evans, the hospital is excited about the expanded hours and services provided to patients. Along with the expanded coverage that allows for quicker read times on exams, there are now image-guided interventional pain management services provided at LRH. Patients can now come to LRH to receive these special image-guided procedures to treat and manage pain. Image-guided, interventional procedures include an injection of an anesthetic medicine and/or steroid around nerves, tendons, joints or muscles. Specific types of procedures include:
• Facet joint injection of steroids and anesthetic into the small joints in the back that allow the spine to bend, flex, and rotate
• Hip joint injections of steroids and anesthetic to treat inflammatory joint conditions of the hip, commonly caused by arthritis
• Sacroiliac injections of steroids and anesthetic into the joints in the lower back where the base of the spine and bony pelvis meet
• Occipital nerve blocks for those that suffer from chronic headaches
• Epidural steroid injections to relieve pain that originates in the back or neck and reduces inflammation in the spinal canal and nerve roots
Epidural injections are usually done in a series of three injections over a period of time. The amount of time in between injections varies according to the patient. According to Dr. Crouch, “Patients usually see improvement with each injection, so they feel better long-term as they go through the series of three injections.”
Dr. Crouch pointed out that some injections may offer a diagnostic as well as a therapeutic benefit. He said, “For example, sometimes patients have pain in their hip that is actually referred pain from another part of the body. If we provide a steroid injection into the hip joint and their pain is alleviated, we know that it was not referred pain, but actually the source of the pain.”
These image-guided pain management procedures may help patients that have discomfort caused by a number of conditions or disorders such as chronic low back and neck pain, post-surgical pain, post-traumatic pain syndrome, and muscle, joint and/or bone pain. The procedures may help these patients reduce the amount of time pain is experienced and its severity, allow for an increase in home and work activities, overcome isolation, learn new skills for coping with pain, rehabilitate, and improve their quality of life.
Image-guided pain management services are provided on an outpatient basis and are usually covered by health insurance. Those interested in receiving pain management services should contact their family physician.