Mercy Pain Management Specialist Dr. David Maine Discusses New Treatment For Back Pain
Dr. David Maine, Director, Center for Interventional Pain Medicine at Mercy
Late last year, President Obama spent an additional 50 billion dollars to stimulate the economy. Records show Americans spend that much money each year to soothe lower back pain. The good news, an outpatient-based solution may now be available.
Barbara Koscielski loves the library, but until now she couldn’t sit and read to save her life.
“To sit was, you know, I couldn’t sit, not for long periods,” Barbara Koscielski, suffered from back pain, told Ivanhoe.
Pain sprouted in her lower back, her "sacroiliac” joint where the base of the spine meets the pelvis. When pain injections didn’t work, she considered surgery.
“Things that people take for granted, I couldn’t do,” Koscielski stated.
Eight-five percent of all American adults suffer from back pain, with up to 20 percent victims of sacroiliac pain.
“I couldn’t walk down to the end of the block,” Koscielski recalled.
Pain Management specialist Dr. David Maine, Director, Center for Interventional Pain Medicine at Mercy, tried a new procedure called RFA, or radio-frequency ablation on Koscielski.
“What we’re basically trying to do is take away the sensory nervous system supply to that joint,” Dr. Maine said.
A six-inch probe is heated to 176 degrees. Inserted through a small incision, it disrupts sensory nerves going into the joint. No nerves, no pain.
“At 80 degrees Celsius we think that we have a complete de-nervation, or destruction of those nerves,” Dr. Maine explained.
Studies show one month after the procedure, 79 percent of patients had pain relief. Only 66 percent of people found relief with pain killing injections.
“I could tell within a few days that that initial pain was gone,” Koscielski added.
Koscielski was out of the hospital the same day, back moving within two more. The best part of being up-right again? Sitting down with a good book.
“It was a really good feeling, very nice,” she said.
This past year marked the first time radiofrequency ablation was ever used on sacroiliac pain patients. People who don't respond to pain shots and physical therapy are typically eligible for this procedure.
Founded in 1874 in downtown Baltimore by the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Medical Center is a 183-licensed bed acute care university-affiliated teaching hospital. Mercy has been recognized as a top Maryland hospital by U.S. News & World Report; a Top 100 hospital for Women’s Health & Orthopedics by Healthgrades; is currently A-rated for Hospital Safety (Leapfrog Group), and is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet Hospital. Mercy Medical Center is part of Mercy Health Services (MHS), the parent of Mercy’s primary care and specialty care physician enterprise, known as Mercy Personal Physicians, which employs more than 200 providers with locations in Baltimore, Lutherville, Overlea, Glen Burnie, Columbia and Reisterstown. For more information about Mercy, visit www.mdmercy.com, MDMercyMedia on Facebook, Twitter, or call 1-800-MD-Mercy.