At Carle, our Neurosurgeons assess and treat patients with acute and chronic pain. They do so through collaboration with other providers including Interventional Spine Physiatrists, Interventional Pain Anesthesiologists, and Neuropsychologists. Patients may seek our multidisciplinary group within the Carle Neuroscience Institute for the following:
- Degenerative changes in the spinal discs, joints, and vertebrae
- Post traumatic spinal cord, nerve, vertebral, disc or ligamentous injury
- Diabetic neuropathic or nerve injury pain not responding to medication
- Muscle spasticity due to spinal quadriplegia or paraplegia
- Some forms of posterior headaches related to neck arthritis
- Persistent back and leg pain after spinal fusion surgery
Providers within the Carle Neuroscience Institute have broad expertise and treatment options for patients suffering from ongoing back pain. Our clinicians take a holistic approach to treating a patient. Examples of our expertise and capabilities include:
- Spinal injections, nerve blocks, trigger point injections, and rhizotomies/radiofrequency to address neck, back, arm and leg pain in certain cases
- Psychological screenings to ensure adequate treatment of depression and anxiety prior to surgical interventions
- Work ups to assess benefit of lumbar fusions prior to surgery
- Minimally invasive assessments of spinal cord stimulation for persistent back and leg pain after surgery prior to permanent implants
- Neurosurgery placement of paddle spinal cord stimulator leads to decrease lead migration risk
- Neurosurgery placement of Baclofen pumps for spasticity – or to decrease muscle contraction and stiffness – in coordination with managing physician
- Drug screening and counseling to prevent drug misuse and to decrease risk of overdoses
List of conditions treated within subspecialty:
- Neck or back pain
- Arm or leg pain
- Failure of neck or back surgery to control pain
- Diabetic neuropathy not responding to medication
- Occipital neuropathy
- Spasticity due to quadriplegia or paraplegia
- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Types 1 and 2
- Rib or intercostal pain
- Pain from nerve compression such as Carpal Tunnel syndrome
List of treatment options/technology available to treat conditions (with brief description):
- Spinal Cord Stimulators: Used to treat chronic back and leg pain after surgery, diabetic neuropathy leg pain, or Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy leg pain for patients with successful trial and no active, untreated psychological concerns.
- Baclofen Pumps: Surgically implanted pumps that release Baclofen to treat spasms not controlled with oral medications
- Lumbar Diskograms: Test done to confirm a lumbar disc is causing symptoms prior to surgical fusion.
- Psychological Pain Evaluation: Psychological Battery of tests to assess for psychological condition such as anxiety or depression that will need treatment prior to considering invasive surgery.
- Assessment of Repeat Spinal Surgery Options: Multidisciplinary Team Care Approach allows patient to try Physical Therapy, Non-surgical and Surgical Pain control options with Physical Medicine Rehabilitation, Interventional Pain Physiatrists/Anesthesiologists and Neurosurgery Spine Physicians coordinating care together to avoid repeat surgery if possible.
- Spinal injections: Placed at cervical, thoracic, and lumbar areas to address pain.
- Nerve Blocks: Done to address pain in nerve paths in back of head, ribs, wrists, arms, legs and feet.
- Rhizotomy/Radiofrequency: Done in cervical, lumbar, and thoracic spinal areas to address joint pain.
- Trigger Point Injections: Done to address local muscle pain in arms, legs, neck and back.
- Sympathetic Nerve Block: Treats severe arm or leg pain due to sympathetic system over activity after nerve injury.
Meet Our Team