You might benefit from surgical pain management if you have a neuromusculoskeletal condition (one that affects your bones, joints, connective tissues, or nerves) that other treatments don’t help. Fellowship-trained neurosurgeon Yan Michael Li, MD, PhD, at the Minimally Invasive Brain and Spine Institute, offers several minimally invasive procedures for patients with chronic back and neck pain. These include endoscopic neurectomy and spinal cord stimulator or pain pump implantation. Call the Minimally Invasive Brain and Spine Institute’s office in San Antonio or Houston, Texas, or Utica, New York, today, or book an appointment online for more information on your surgical pain management choices.
Conditions that might benefit from surgical pain management include:
Herniated discs are a common back and neck problem where the disc’s soft core pushes through its outer shell into the spinal canal.
Surgical pain management procedures Dr. Li performs include:
An endoscopic instrument has a tiny camera on its tip that relays images of the spinal nerves to a screen for Dr. Li to see. He uses these images to cut the nerves causing your pain. Endoscopic neurectomy treats facet-related pain coming from the small joints linking your vertebrae.
A spinal cord stimulator is a device Dr. Li implants under your skin. Electrodes (wires) attach to the nerves in your spine, delivering an electrical current that interferes with the nerve’s ability to send pain messages to your brain. You control these electrical impulses using a remote device.
Like spinal cord stimulators, pain pumps are implantable. But rather than using electrical current, they have a reservoir filled with powerful pain medication.
Before you undergo spinal cord stimulator or pain pump implantation, you do a week’s trial to ensure that the treatment is suitable for you. If the trial is successful, Dr. Li will implant a permanent device. He can also perform revision surgeries if implantable devices cease to function correctly.
For most people, conservative treatments effectively reduce pain and increase function. Changing your activities, medications that reduce inflammation (like ibuprofen and acetaminophen), physical therapy, and hot and cold treatments are often helpful.
Patients who don’t improve with these treatments might benefit from steroid injections that reduce inflammation long-term. Another choice is radiofrequency ablation, which heats nerves in the painful area, destroying them. If there’s still no improvement, Dr. Li might recommend surgical pain management.
Some patients might be suitable for surgery, like a discectomy to remove a herniated disc, followed by artificial disc replacement. But not everyone is a good candidate for surgery, or their condition might be one surgery can’t treat. Surgical pain management offers an effective choice for people in this position.
Call the Minimally Invasive Brain and Spine Institute today or book an appointment online to benefit from cutting-edge surgical pain management.