About Minimally Invasive Procedures

In SPCC, MIP operates a twice weekly list, offering a variety of pain-relieving procedures.   Interventional pain management involves specialized procedures to treat and manage pain.   “Interventional” refers to specialized catheters, needles and scopes entering into certain parts of the body without cutting muscle or bone.

Subsequently, the interventional specialist will work on the part of the body, together with substances or other materials that are injected or placed into certain parts of the body.  These are minimally invasive procedures that involve little or no surgical incision, but highly sophisticated and complex treatments.

Principally these procedures include:

  • an injection of an anaesthetic medicine or steroid around nerves, tendons, joints or muscles
  • spinal cord stimulation insertion
  • insertion of a drug delivery system
  • a procedure with radio-frequency ablation to stop a painful nerve from working for a long period of time.

Examples of minimally invasive procedures include:

  • Epidurolysis/Neuroplasty injections (cervical, lumbar and caudal)
  • Radiofrequency denervation/neurotomy
  • Pulsed Radiofrequency regeneration
  • Selective epidural and root blocks (cervical, lumbar and sacral)
  • Facet injections and medical branch blocks (cervical, thoracic and lumbar)
  • Sympathetic blockade (stellate ganglion, thoracic and lumbar)
  • Peripheral nerve block
  • Spinal cord stimulation
  • Neurolytics of coeliac plexus and cancer pain
  • Intrathecal and epidural fusion systems.

interventional_pain_proceduresInterventional Pain Procedures

For surgical operations, there is the irreversible nature and the historically high potential for surgical failure. Patients and doctors have always searched for less invasive options for surgical management of pain. History of interventional pain procedures dates back to as early as 1901 when the first epidural was performed to treat sciatic pain. Now, with advancements in imaging techniques and pain treatment systems, there is a host of minimally invasive outpatient procedures that can effectively manage your pain.

Traditionally, physicians have been frustrated by the lack of diagnostic accuracy of physical examination, radiological investigation and neuro-diagnostic testing. The ability to accurately diagnose pain-generating structures was as low as 15%. Now, with advancements in diagnostic interventional pain techniques, we may definitively pinpoint your pain to its exact source by temporarily blocking nerve roots, ligaments, joints, muscles or discs. This allows precise localisation of painful structures in up to 85% of patients treated.

The treatment options in the recent past are limited to conservative management, consisting of pain medicine, physical therapy and/or surgery. Over the last few years, a number of non-surgical or minimally invasive procedures have been introduced in an effort to manage patients who fail conservative therapy without resorting to major surgery.

The potential for non-surgical pain procedures to reduce pain is of obvious importance to the patient. Of equal importance is the likely contribution of these treatment methods to restore physical and functional status. In addition, these treatment methods also reduce the level of patient’s pain with a one-off treatment that is minimally invasive, with little or no surgical risk and “down-time”.

The Pain Care Center specializes in providing minimally invasive procedures, supplementing with exercise, physical therapy and medication, to effectively diagnose and treat your pain. We offer a wide array of treatment options, including epidurolysis (epidural adhesiolysis), epidural blocks, pulsed radiofrequency of selective nerve root, including blocks, and facet joint injections, RF neuro-ablation, proliferative therapy, percutaneous disc decompression, trigger point injections, lysis of scar tissue, peripheral neuromodulation and spinal cord stimulation (see individual sections).