At the Pain Management Center at Nyack Hospital, a variety of diagnostic tests and methods are conducted to determine an appropriate treatment plan to manage each patient’s pain.
A fluoroscope is an X-ray machine that projects an imagine onto a TV monitor. This allows the doctor to see exactly where a needle should be placed for a particular injection. The use of fluoroscopy is routine for all our procedures, to ensure accuracy.
This test is used to determine if a particular disc is a source of pain. Dye is injected into several discs and viewed under a fluoroscope (X-ray machine), to give the doctor a clear picture of where the pain originates. This is usually done when there are several worn discs, not all of them painful.
Mostly used for disc herniation (a "slipped disc"), this is useful in determining the exact nerve root that is transmitting pain. It requires injecting a local anesthetic and therapeutic steroid into a specific nerve root, all done under X-ray control. The patient says whether or not the pain is relieved.
Medial branches are nerves that connect the facet joints to the rest of the nervous system. Blocking their sensations through the injection of a local anesthetic is a way to discover if a pain is originating from the facet joints. This tells the doctor whether to proceed with a Radiofrequency Ablation.