Diagnostic injections and pain management procedures are ordered for diagnosis and/or therapeutic treatment of pain in all areas of the spine (lumbar, thoracic and cervical), as well as joints (shoulder, hip, wrist, etc.) Your doctor may also request that you receive an MRI or CT exam in conjunction with these procedures.
Dr. G specializes in diagnostic injections and pain management procedures. He also has advanced training in specific areas, including neuro and musculoskeletal imaging. This special focus, combined with our image-guided approach, ensures that your diagnostic and/or therapeutic injection is accurate and safe.
Spinal injections, typically used to control pain, can be used diagnostically to locate the pain source. Diagnostic spinal injections include discography (discogram), selective nerve root blocks (SNRB), sacroiliac joint injections, facet joint injections, and medial blocks.
To help manage your pain, your physician may prescribe a therapeutic injection, such as nerve blocks, epidural steroid injections, and radiofrequency nerve ablation. These procedures may help to relieve and control pain from degenerative disc disease, injury, osteoarthritis and other disorders of the spine.
Dr. G understands that pain management is a high priority for most patients. To help manage your pain, he may prescribe a therapeutic injection, such as nerve blocks, epidural steroid injections, and radiofrequency nerve ablation. These procedures may help to relieve and control pain from degenerative disc disease, injury, osteoarthritis and other disorders of the spine.
A nerve block is an injection of medication onto or near nerves. The injected medication may include a local anesthetic, steroid or narcotic.
Epidural Steroid Injections
The epidural space is the space surrounding the membrane that covers the spinal cord and nerve roots. Disorders such as spinal stenosis and a herniated disc can cause nerve irritation, inflammation, and pain. An epidural injection places anti-inflammatory medication (e.g. steroids) into the epidural space. Epidural injections are performed in the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine.
The sacroiliac joint is the largest joint. It is located in the lower spine above the tailbone, and normally has very little motion. Inflammation of the sacroiliac joint can cause low back and buttock pain. An injection of an anesthetic and steroid may help relieve joint pain.
Radiofrequency Nerve Ablation
Facet joints are one source of back pain. Radiofrequency nerve ablation uses radio waves to produce heat focused at a specific facet joint nerve. The heat destroys the nerve and relieves pain.
The ablation procedure is similar to a nerve block or spinal joint injection except two needles are inserted; each facet joint has two nerves. Fluoroscopic guidance is used to correctly position each needle. Then radiofrequency “radio waves” are directed through each needle. The ablation process takes about two minutes. The entire procedure takes about 2 hours.