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Interventional Pain Management

Avoid Drugs, Manage Pain Though Minimally Invasive Procedures

Finding relief from chronic pain can be difficult. Often, chronic pain fails to respond to conventional treatments, such as rest, physical therapy, over-the-counter or prescription medications.

For tough-to-treat pain, interventional pain management may provide much-needed relief. Minimally invasive image-guided procedures use a variety of pain blocking techniques, such as injection therapies, to target pain at its source. This may be especially helpful for patients who have exhausted other treatment methods.

SLUCare Vascular and Interventional Radiology offers interventional pain management by physician referral only. (Patients must have either a referral letter requesting a specific procedure or a direct doctor-to-doctor referral.) Procedures are performed by our board-certified specialists in minimally invasive image-guided procedures.

Interventional pain management may offer relief from:

  • Cancer pain
  • Neck pain
  • Back pain
  • Sciatica
  • Failed back surgery syndrome
  • Complex regional pain syndrome

It is important to note that interventional pain management is not a treatment for all pain-related conditions. Patients with neuropathy, arthritis and fibromyalgia pain would not be treated in our clinic. We recommend these patients seek an evaluation by a pain management specialist, who can prescribe medical therapies or alternative therapies to ease symptoms.

Interventional Pain Management Procedures

Injection Therapies and Nerve Blocks

Irritated nerves in the neck, mid-back or lower back may cause pain in the form of aching, shooting, burning, tingling, numbing or electric sensations. As the pain travels down the nerve, it can be felt in your arms, hands, hips, legs or feet. Injections can help reduce inflammation and irritation around these nerves.

To provide pain relief, the interventional radiologist makes a tiny incision in the back near the site of pain. Using specialized X-ray, ultrasound or CAT scan equipment, the physician passes a specially designed needle into the skin and guides it precisely to the location of the pain. Once the tip of the needle is in place, the physician injects medication to block the nerves causing the pain. The physician then removes the needle and applies a Band-Aid® to the incision site. The entire treatment lasts 20-30 minutes, and the patient can then return home.

Spinal Cord Stimulator (neurostimulation)
If chronic pain fails to respond to conventional treatments or injection therapies, a spinal cord stimulator may help. This treatment option uses low-voltage stimulation of the spinal nerves to block the feeling of pain, reducing dependence on pain medication and improving functionality. In this procedure, a small battery-powered generator is implanted in the body, delivering an electrical current to the spinal cord. This produces a tingling sensation instead of pain. Interrupting the pain signals enables many people to return to a more active lifestyle.

Multi-Disciplinary Approach to Reduce Pain In Patient


Kyphoplasty and Spine Ablation for Pain Management

Vertebral compression fracture is a collapse of a bony block in the spine (vertebral body) due to osteoporosis or cancer of the spine. A compression fracture typically causes severe pain immediately, and that pain can persist for months – even years – after the fracture.

Kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty are minimally invasive image-guided procedures for treating compression fracture. Using X-ray guidance, the interventional radiologist locates the site of the fracture before beginning the procedure. The doctor then uses continuous X-ray guidance to insert a needle into the vertebral body. With kyphoplasty, a small balloon is inserted through the needle and slowly inflated under constant pressure monitoring. This restores vertebral body height loss caused by the fracture. The balloon is then removed and the void is filled with acrylic bone cement. (Vertebroplasty involves the application of bone cement without the use of a balloon.) The cement hardens within minutes, creating an internal cast to restore vertebral body height and reduce pain. Once the procedure is finished, the needle is removed and Band-Aid is placed over the needle site.

These procedures last 30-45 minutes and typically do not require general anesthesia. You will be able to return home the same day with minimal restrictions.

Why Choose SLUCare for Interventional Pain Management?

We are minimally invasive image-guided specialists. Our fellowship-trained doctors offer expertise in interventional pain management techniques.

Collaboration with other experts. SLUCare interventional radiologists work with other pain specialists to provide comprehensive care for patients.

Our approach reduces dependence on oral pain medications. Interventional pain management applies pain relief at the source, alleviating pain without risk of addiction or other unwanted side effects.

Schedule a Consultation with SLUCare

For an appointment, call 314-977-5600.