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    Procedure Guide: Endoscopic Foraminotomy

    Last updated 1 year ago

    Surgery for back and neck pain used to be very invasive and involve lengthy recovery periods. The good news for patients with chronic back and neck pain is that new, endoscopic procedures are now available to provide the same level of relief as more invasive surgeries, but with far fewer complications and side effects. If your pain management doctor has scheduled you for an endoscopic foraminotomy, here is what you need to know:

    Conditions Treated by Endoscopic Foraminotomy

    Endoscopic foraminotomy is helpful in addressing a number of different spinal symptoms. Spinal and foraminal stenosis, pinched nerves, spondylolisthesis, herniated discs, lumbar radiculopathy (also known as sciatica), bone spurs, and previously failed back surgery can all be corrected with this procedure. Most of these conditions share a common trait –they cause a slippage or bulging of tissue that presses against spinal nerves, creating pain. Endoscopic foraminotomy can address all of these issues, even if the root causes are different.

    What to Expect During Endoscopic Foraminotomy

    This procedure is performed on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia. During the surgery, a metal tube called an endoscope is placed through a naturally occurring hole in a nerve called the neuroforman. The tube is then guided along the spinal nerve canal with the help of an X-ray device to show the surgeon where it is going. Once the damaged tissue is located, it is removed from the spine or destroyed with lasers so that it doesn’t press against the nerve anymore. As long as all damaged tissue is removed, relief should be complete and immediate. The recovery from this procedure is fast. Most patients are mobile again within a few hours of treatment and return to normal activity within a few weeks.

    Could endoscopic foraminotomy help alleviate your pain? Schedule an evaluation with the pain management specialists at Union Anesthesia Associates to find out if this is the right treatment for your back and neck pain. Reach our compassionate team of board-certified anesthesiologists by calling (908) 364-2539.

    What to Expect from Your First Visit with a Pain Management Doctor

    Last updated 1 year ago

    If you suffer from chronic pain, you’ve likely been watching your life from the sidelines. Chronic pain can be both physically debilitating and mentally draining. Seeing a pain management doctor is the first step to taking back control of your life and freeing yourself from your constant discomfort. Here’s a brief look at what may happen during your first pain management visit:

    Complete Health History

    The causes of chronic pain aren’t always obvious—still, pain management doctors need to get as close as they can to identifying the triggers in order to provide the best treatment possible. To do this, your doctor will take a complete medical history, asking questions about your own health and your family’s medical background. Before your visit, it helps to write down dates of significant illnesses, surgeries, and injuries, as well as a list of your current medications. Be sure to be as thorough as possible when answering questions about your medical history to increase your doctor’s chances of pinpointing the cause of your pain.

    Physical Exam and Diagnostic Testing

    To settle on a diagnosis, your pain management doctor will perform a physical exam. He will pay close attention to the areas giving you pain and ask you to describe the pain. Diagnostic procedures such as X-rays and MRIs may also help your pain management doctor come up with a cause of your pain and develop a plan for treatment.

    Treatment Options

    Once your pain management doctor has a handle on your pain, he will discuss your treatment options. The methods he uses depend on the type and location of your pain. Endoscopic surgery, steroid injections, and spinal cord stimulation are just a few of the treatments available for chronic pain.

    Get rid of your pain once and for all with the help of the doctors from Union Anesthesia Associates. We specialize in treating back and neck pain, but can help with a range of other chronic issues. Schedule a consultation by calling (908) 364-2539.

    Examining the Differences Between Acute and Chronic Pain

    Last updated 1 year ago

    If you’re living with pain, chances are that you care less about what it’s called and more about finding a solution. Still, the best way for a pain management doctor to devise your treatment is to determine exactly what kind of pain you have. There are two major types of pain: acute and chronic. Read on to discover what factors that set these two kinds of pain apart:

    Onset

    The onsets of acute and chronic pain are very different. Acute pain comes on suddenly, like an alarm bell. It lets you know that something is going wrong in your body. You usually experience acute pain after an injury or during a painful medical procedure. On the other hand, chronic pain tends to come on slowly. If you have chronic pain, you may not be able to pinpoint exactly when your pain started.

    Duration

    If you can’t seem to shake your pain, chances are it is chronic. Acute pain sometimes resolves in mere moments, and in some cases, it can linger for up to six months. If your pain sticks with you beyond the six month mark, it is considered to be chronic in nature.

    Cause

    When it comes to acute pain, the cause is usually obvious. You may experience acute pain if you break a bone or have a baby, for instance. Treatment involves addressing the source of the pain. If you have a broken bone, it will be set and put in a cast so it can heal; if you’re having a baby, the pain should cease after the birth. Chronic pain is different. In many cases, the cause is unclear. In other cases, such as neurogenic or cancer pain, there may be no single, clear-cut treatment available.

    Let the pain management doctors of Union Anesthesia Associates get to the bottom of your pain once and for all. No matter what kind of pain you have, whether it’s chronic or acute back or neck pain, we can help. Call (908) 364-2539 now to get started.

    Acute Pain versus Chronic Pain: How to Tell the Difference

    Last updated 1 year ago

    The first step in controlling pain is identifying what kind of pain it is. Is your pain acute or chronic? The answer makes a big difference in terms of treatment.

    Learn the difference between acute and chronic pain by watching this video. Acute pain usually comes on suddenly and has a known cause and cure. Chronic pain is much more elusive, since tissue damage is not usually noticeable, and it can take some time to find the right formula for relief.

    Whichever kind of pain you have, now is the time to relieve your suffering. Let the pain management doctors of Union Anesthesia Associates get to the root of your problem and find a solution. Call us at (908) 364-2539 to schedule an appointment.

    Union Anesthesia Associates Back Pain Treatment Resources: Understand Your Symptoms

    Last updated 1 year ago

    One of my most important steps in overcoming back and neck pain is assessing the cause of the pain and coming up with a comprehensive treatment plan. Read some of the information on these websites to better understand your symptoms, then visit Union Anesthesia Associates online or call (908) 364-2539 to schedule an appointment.

    Do you have chronic pain from a back or neck injury that reduces your quality of life? Take this short quiz offered by WebMD.

    Did you know that people who live with chronic pain often experience depression and heightened stress? Learn more about the mind-body connection with this link to Medline Plus.

    The Mayo Clinic offers a comprehensive guide to back pain, including the common causes, symptoms, and diagnostic tests.

    A recent study revealed that smokers who quit using tobacco can also experience lessened back pain. Read more with this link to Medline Plus.

    Getting treated for back pain early may help reduce the need for invasive treatment techniques. Health magazine discusses some exercises that can help strengthen your back and reduce your pain.

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