Dr. Ahmad Rahim is an anesthetist and pain management specialist in the Gainesville, Florida area. In the following article, Ahmad Abdul-Rahim discusses new technologies helping pain patients, and how this technology is changing the world one procedure at a time.
Patients with chronic pain often struggle to find relief from their symptoms. Seeking treatment between therapists, general practitioners and specialists takes a lot of time. But Dr. Ahmad Rahim pain management is aware that interventional pain management might be exactly what they are looking for.
Interventional pain management is a medical discipline devoted to the diagnosis and treatment of pain-related disorders. It is a multidisciplinary approach that recently added three new technologies to its list. And Dr. Ahmad Rahim, a pain management specialist who completed his residency at the University of Florida Health, says they are already changing the lives of those who receive them.
Ahmad Abdul-Rahim says the multi-faceted technique is particularly helpful for people with back pain, but the advanced technologies have proven particularly helpful for people with lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS).
Percutaneous interspinous spacer implantation
Even in today’s highly advanced medical field, there aren’t many treatment options for people with lumbar spinal stenosis who don’t want to undergo invasive surgery, says Ahmad Abdul-Rahim.
But a new option on the market is percutaneous interspinous space implantation, a minimally invasive procedure that offers patients with LSS many benefits, including:
- Minimal blood loss
- Maximum security
- Reduced risk of infection
- Simplified and efficient procedure
- Reduced hospital stays
- Faster run times
- Considerable improvement in function
- Reduction of numbness and leg pain
- More freedom to practice physical activities
Dr. Ahmad Rahim, who completed his residency at the University of Florida Health, explains that the spine naturally changes as the body ages. However, unpleasant symptoms like numbness, leg pain, cramps and a rapid decrease in standing or walking endurance are signs of spinal stenosis that this new procedure aims to relieve.
Understand the procedure for implanting the percutaneous interspinous spacer
Five vertebrae make up the lumbar spine reports Ahmad Abdul-Rahim. Between each are discs that absorb shock and allow the spine to twist and bend.
However, LSS narrows the space between the vertebrae, putting pressure on the nerves and causing pain. The spacer insertion procedure offers relief, says pain management specialist Dr. Ahmad Rahim.
Thanks to its minimally invasive nature, it is an outpatient procedure performed as follows:
- The surgeon makes a small incision in the lower back.
- They place the interspinous spacer between the vertebrae using a small tube to reduce blood loss and tissue damage.
- The implant relieves pressure on the nerves by keeping the vertebrae open.
- The arms of the implant surround the spinous process to make sure it stays in the right place.
According to anesthetist Dr Ahmad Rahim, patients benefit from fast recovery times and no destabilization of the spine.
Minimally invasive lumbar decompression
Another recent advancement in treatment options for patients with degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis is the minimally invasive lumbar decompression procedure.
Unlike percutaneous interspinous spacer implantation, Dr. Ahmad Rahim of Anesthesiology says that this procedure leaves no implants behind. Instead, it removes specific parts of the ligaments to provide long-term decompression and relief.
Dubbed Gentle®, the procedure has undergone a few randomized controlled trials and 11 separate clinical studies to establish its effectiveness – and the results are quite impressive, reports anesthetist Dr Ahmad Rahim, who completed his residency at the University of Florida Health.
According to research reviews, its safety profile is the same as epidural steroid injections. But, perhaps more surprisingly, its effectiveness is known to be superior to injections.
The evidence speaks for itself. As such, gentle is one of the last technologies to be recommended as a first intervention following the failure of conservative treatment options.
But it’s not just patients with spinal stenosis who benefit from the procedure. People with yellow ligament enlargement and neurogenic claudication also find mild relief.
Ablation of the basivertebral nerve
Basivertebral nerve ablation, also known as Intracept, is a new procedure for patients with chronic lower back pain who have not received lasting results from conservative treatment.
Designed specifically for people with vertebrogenic lower back pain, ever basivertebral ablation works like this:
- The surgeon makes a small incision in the lower back.
- A cannula is inserted into the vertebral body near the base of the basivertebral nerve.
- A fluoroscopic (X-ray) probe is inserted through the cannula to emit radiofrequency waves to prevent the transmission of pain signals.
The procedure is minimally invasive and provides a welcome treatment option for people with lower back discomfort and chronic pain. After all, history has shown how difficult and ineffective traditional treatments for vertebrogenic lower back pain can be.
It’s a whole new world for chronic pain patients
Pain management specialist Dr. Ahmad Rahim says interventional pain management is a medical discipline known for its lengthy trial-and-error approaches. But for patients with chronic low back pain, these new and emerging technologies are incredibly helpful in alleviating symptoms and improving their quality of life.