Spinal injections: role in diagnosis and treatment of spinal pain.

A unique problem in dealing with age related spinal disorders is that degenerative changes (age related wear and tear) are very common and can exist without causing pain, while at the same time, some of them can be the cause of significant pain and disability in some patients.

These changes can exist in multiple levels in the spine making it difficult to identify clinically, despite a thorough clinical examination, the exact level or structure that is the main cause of the spinal pain. The fact that they can exist without causing pain in many people compounds the situation. So, seeing an X-ray or MRI of the spine is not enough to exactly identify the pain generator in the spine.

In situations where there is spinal pain and there are multiple level degenerative changes seen on the MRI, spinal injections are used as a test to temporarily block the pain from some structures in order to help identify the most likely cause of pain and help deciding further treatment plan accordingly.

These injections are also used as treatment of spinal pain (Back/neck pain, sciatica) caused by a specific structural problem for relieving pain, while we wait for the problem to settle down naturally; and in those who are not responding to medication and physiotherapy. Another situation where injections are used is in patients who need surgery but cannot be operated for other reasons or want to postpone the surgery temporarily.

Typically the injections are done under local anaesthesia, with the patient lying in an operation theatre with X-ray facility or in a CT scan console to help pass the needle to the exact desired location in the spine. A local anaesthetic alone or in combination with a steroid medication is injected. The target location may be the facet joints, SI joints, disc or a near the nerve root.

Many spine surgeons use these injections as a tool to help in accurate diagnosis as well as treatment of spinal pain world over.

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Dr Phani Kiran S

Experience and Professionalism

With years of experience in spine surgery, Dr Phani Kiran SSenior Consultant Spine Surgeon will assess you and suggest the treatment option that is right for you.

We at Medspine clinics, understand the importance of educating all our patients about the spinal problems and the most effective ways to take care of their spine.

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