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Garden State Medical Center offers many different spinal stabilization procedures to help with back, leg, and neck pain. Some of these procedures include Interlaminar Lumbar Instrumented Fusions, Stabilink, and Nuvasive Affix III. 

What is an Interlaminar Lumbar Instrumented Fusison?

The Nuvasive Affix III procedure is a spinal stabilization device that is implanted through a small incision during a minimally invasive procedure. It is a non-sterile device intended to be implanted between two adjacent lumbar spinous processes to decompress neural structures, typically to treat a patient with degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis. It is typically designed as a small spacer, either a single-piece or assembly, made of metal.

Is the procedure right for me?

While it is up to your doctor to determine the best approach for treating your pain, there are some common conditions that this procedure is ideal for. If you suffer from pain in your legs, buttocks or groin area due to degenerative disc disease, you may be a good candidate for the procedure. If you have back instability you are also a good candidate.

What are the potential benefits of the procedure?

Some benefits include small incision size and limited muscle disruption, minimized recovery/ O.R. time and blood loss, comparable results to other longer procedures, and significant improvement in pain and function.

What is the Stabilink procedure?

The Stabilink procedure is an inter-spinous stabilization implant that is placed on the spinal cord to help with degenerative disc disease and spinal stenosis. The principal benefit of the procedure is that it is placed between the spinous processes, away from the neural elements including the spinal cord and spinal nerves. The implant is placed through a 2-4 cm incision and the procedure is relatively quick. The device limits overall motion when bending or rotating the spine.

Is the procedure right for me?

While it is up to your doctor to determine the best approach for treating your pain, there are some common conditions that this procedure is ideal for. If you suffer from back pain due to degenerative disc disease or spinal stenosis, you may be a good candidate for the procedure. The implant is meant to stabilize the spinal column and therefore the device can be good for people who move a lot throughout the day..

What are the potential benefits of the procedure?

Some benefits include interlocking implant insertion/compression, short overall procedure time, no bulky elements, smaller incisions, and significant improvement in pain and function.

What is the Nuvasive Affix III procedure?

The Nuvasive Affix III procedure is a spinal stabilization device that is implanted through a small incision during a minimally invasive procedure. It is a non-sterile device intended to be implanted between two adjacent lumbar spinous processes to decompress neural structures, typically to treat a patient with degenerative lumbar spinal stenosis. It is typically designed as a small spacer, either a single-piece or assembly, made of metal.

Is the procedure right for me?

While it is up to your doctor to determine the best approach for treating your pain, there are some common conditions that this procedure is ideal for. If you suffer from back pain due to degenerative disc disease or spinal stenosis, you may be a good candidate for the procedure. The implant is meant to stabilize the spinal column and therefore the device can be good for people who move a lot throughout the day..

What are the potential benefits of the procedure?

Benefits of the procedure include short overall procedure time, no bulky elements, smaller incisions, significant improvement in pain and function, and long-lasting pain relief.

To talk to one of our pain management specialists about these procedures, call us today!

732.202.3000


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Cervical Interlaminar Epidural Steroid Injections

A cervical interlaminar epidural steroid injection is an outpatient procedure for treating neck, upper back, shoulder, and arm pain. This information sheet will explain what it is. Your doctor can explain if it is for you.

What is the epidural space?

The dura is a protective covering of the spinal cord and its nerves. The space surrounding the dura is called the epidural space. In the neck, it is called the cervical epidural space.

What causes pain in the epidural space?

The cervical area of the spine has seven bones, called vertebrae. Soft discs found between these vertebrae cushion them, hold them together, and control motion. If a disc tears, chemicals inside may leak out. This can inflame nerve roots or the dura, and cause pain. A large disc tear may cause a disc to bulge, inflaming nerve roots or the dura, and cause pain. Bone spurs, called osteophytes, can also press against nerve roots and cause pain.

How do I know if I have disc and nerve root pain?

If you have pain in your neck or upper back when you move your head or neck, you may have cervical disc or dural inflammation. if pain travels to your arm when you move your head or neck, you may have nerve root inflammation. Common tests such as MRIs can show disc bulges and nerve root compression, but may not show a torn and leaking disc. A cervical epidural injection may provide relief if disc problems, or dural, or nerve root inflammation are causing your pain.

What is a cervical interlaminar epidural steroid injection?

In a cervical epidural steroid injection, a corticosteroid (anti-inflammatory medicine) is injected into the epidural space to reduce inflammation. A local anesthetic (numbing medicine) may also be injected. The simplest way is from the back of the spine. This is called an interlaminar injection.

What happens during/after an injection?

A local anesthetic will be used to numb your skin. The doctor will then insert a thin needle directly into the facet joint. Fluoroscopy, a type of x-ray, must be used to ensure the safe and proper position of the needle. A dye may also be used to make sure the needle is in the correct spot. Once the doctor is sure the needle is correctly placed, the medicine is injected. You will be monitored for up to 30 minutes after the injection. When you are ready to leave, the staff will give you discharge instructions. You will also be given a pain diary. It is important to fill this out because it helps your doctor know how the injection is working. It may help to move your back in ways that hurt before the injection, to see if the pain is still there, but do not overdo it. Take it easy for the rest of the day. You may feel immediate pain relief and numbness in your back for a period of time after the injection. This tells you the medication has reached the right spot. Your pain may return after this short pain-free period or may even be a little worse for a day or two. It may be caused by needle irritation or by the corticosteroid itself. Corticosteroids usually take two or three days to start working but can take as long as a week. You can usually return to work the day after the injection, but always check with your doctor.

 

How long can I expect pain relief?

The extent and duration of pain relief may depend on the amount of inflammation and how many areas are involved. Other coexisting factors may be responsible for your pain. Sometimes an injection can bring several weeks to months of pain relief, and then more treatment is needed. Other times, particularly if there is no underlying bone or joint problem, one injection brings long-term pain relief. If your pain is caused by injury to more than one area, only some of your symptoms may be helped by one injection. This pamphlet is for general education only. Specific questions or concerns should always be directed to your doctor. Your doctor can explain possible risks or side effects

To schedule an appointment with one of our pain management specialists, call us today!

732.202.3000


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Our feet and ankles are under immense amounts of pressure every single day. Foot and Ankle injuries are some of the most common injuries and it is important to know how to recover from them. These 5 exercises can help you move in the right direction:

Heel Raises

To do a heel raise, stand on a solid surface, or an elevation for increased range of motion. It is a good idea to hold onto something for balance. Next, raise your heels by using your calves. Finally, lower yourself with control, and repeat for 20 reps.

Towel Stretch

To do the towel stretch, sit on the floor with your legs extended straight out in front of you. Next, wrap a towel around your toes on both feet. Slowly pull back on the towel until you start to feel a stretch at the very bottom of your feet and the back of your lower legs. Repeat this for at least 20 reps.

Step Ups

To do step ups, find an elevated surface that can safely hold your weight. One leg at a time, step up onto the service and then step back down off of the surface. Repeat this for at least 20 reps. Make sure when you are doing step ups to alternate the leg you start with so that you don’t create a strength imbalance.

Foot Rollout

To do feet rollouts, get a ball or a roller and set it up on the ground in front of you. Use the arches of your feet to roll the ball back and forth. Roll on the ball for about 30 seconds before switching to your other leg. Repeat this several times for each foot.

Balance & Reach

To do the balance and reach exercise, first start to take the pressure off of one of your feet. Then, take this same leg and bring it off the ground and towards your back. At the same time, reach your arms out in front of your body. While you are doing this exercise, alternate the leg that you are putting up. Repeat this exercise for at least 20 reps.

To schedule an appointment to see one of our pain management specialists, call us today!

732.202.3000


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November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month! During this month, it is important to educate yourself about the different types of lung cancer.

What is Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer?

Non-small cell lung cancer affects the cells lining the surface of the lung’s airways. Non-small cell lung cancers are usually slower growing than small cell lung cancers. The cells of a NSCLC tumor are typically larger in size.

Non-Small Cell Lung Cancers make up about 80% of all lung cancer cases.

Types of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Adenocarcinoma– often start in the outer region of the lung, in glands that would normally secrete mucus to help you breathe. 

Squamous Cell Carcinoma– starts in the squamous cells, which are thin, flat cells that line the inside of the airways.

Large Cell Carcinoma– this type of lung cancer can occur anywhere in the lung and is usually aggressive.

Adenocarcinoma is the most common type of lung cancer. 

What is Small Cell Lung Cancer?

Like its name suggests, small cell lung cancer contains cells that are smaller in size. SCLC tends to grow and spread in the body quickly, but usually responds well to chemotherapy and radiation. Most people are diagnosed with SCLC when the disease has already spread.

Small Cell Lung Cancers are less common and only make up about 20% of all lung cancer cases.

Types of Small Cell Lung Cancer

Small Cell Carcinoma– The cells of a small cell carcinoma tumor look flat under a microscope. 

Combined Small Cell Carcinoma– is a tumor that’s made up of some small cell carcinoma cells and some non-small cell lung cancer cells.

Small Cell Carcinoma is the most common type of small cell lung cancer

Garden State Radiation Oncology offers treatment for lung cancer.

To contact Garden State Radiation Oncology, use the information below:

Phone: 732.240.0053

Website: gsradiationoncology.org


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What is osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It can make your joints feel stiff and painful. It’s a common condition that affects men and women. It most often affects older people.

What causes osteoarthritis?

It often results from the wear and tear of everyday life. Your risk is higher if you have a job that puts a lot of stress on certain joints or if you play sports and you’ve ever injured a joint. It’s also higher if you are overweight or if you have a family history of osteoarthritis.

What are symptoms of osteoarthritis?

Symptoms may include pain and stiffness in your affected joints. You may notice this more when you wake up, after you exercise, or when you stress your joints. You may feel grating or rubbing sensations when you move. These symptoms may get worse over time.

How do we treat osteoarthritis?

We are able to treat osteoarthritis in several ways. Treatment options may include medications and splints or braces to support your joints. Physical therapy may also help. If your osteoarthritis is severe, you may benefit from surgery. One of our providers can create a plan that’s right for you.

To schedule an appointment to see one of our pain management specialists, call us today!

732.202.3000


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Our Vertiflex procedure can help give you your life back!

Do you have spinal stenosis?

Spinal stenosis may be the cause of your back pain. Spinal Stenosis is a condition where your spinal column narrows and compresses the spinal cord. This can cause immense amounts of pain for anyone. Spinal stenosis is commonly caused by an excess growth of bone around the spinal nerves. This excess bone growth often results from osteoarthritis. Stenosis can also result from a dislocation or a fracture of the vertebral bone. Stenosis can be caused by soft tissue intruding into the spine’s open spaces. Herniated discs, tumors, and thickened spinal ligaments can press against the spinal nerves. In some cases, a person is born with a small spinal canal that does not provide enough room for the spinal nerves.

 

What does Vertiflex do?

The Vertiflex device is a small implant that is inserted into the spine. Its main purpose is to fight against the narrowing of the spinal column caused by spinal stenosis. It will relieve a lot of the pressure on your lower back and improve your overall pain levels. It works against the forces of spinal stenosis.

Should I consider Vertiflex?

Most patients that consider Vertiflex are not good candidates for spine surgery. This procedure is meant to relieve most conditions related to the spacing of the spinal column. If you are unsure if this would work for you, see our specialists today.

Vertiflex Benefits

Small Size 

The Vertiflex is no bigger than a quarter and is able to provide relief.

No Hospital Stay

Our patients are out on the same day because this is a minimally invasive procedure.

Improved Pain/Function

Pain relief comes quickly after the implant is finished. Patients will see an overall decrease in pain levels and improved function.


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Why the urge?

If you are struggling to control your bladder, you may have urinary or fecal incontinence, overactive bladder, or urinary retention. These conditions may disrupt your life, but there is a solution!

What can I do?

It may be time to get a bladder stimulator. These devices are implanted with the goal of relieving or controlling symptoms from the conditions above. It is a minimally invasive procedure and comes with a very short recovery time.

How does it work?

New patients will go through a brief trial period using a temporary system. This period allows you to gauge symptom relief. After the trial period, a small implant is inserted into your body that delivers electrical currents to regulate the bladder.

What are the benefits?

Small Size

Small implant to provide relief

Long-Term Therapy

Provides relief for 15 years

Full-Body MRI

Eligible for full-body MRI

Clinically Proven

Clinical studies have proven the efficacy of the device

TO SEE HOW THE TREATMENT IMPACTED OTHER PATIENTS, VISIT https://www.axonics.com/patients/is-axonics-right-for-me

To schedule an appointment to see one of our pain management specialists, call us today! 732.202.3000


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In recent years, there has been a large rise of seniors enrolling in Medicare Advantage plans. These plans are private plans that are advertised as an alternative to “traditional” Medicare plans, but in reality, they are a get rich quick scheme for insurance companies. Medicare Advantage plan providers get more funding for “sicker patients” and this has led to a large number of doctors over diagnosing their patients.
 
Every year, the government loses around 12-25 billion dollars to these plans and doctors over diagnosing their patients. There have been reports that doctors were incentivized to over diagnose their patients with presents and champagne.
Unfortunately, over half of all Medicare enrollments are in these Medicare Advantage plans that thrive on trapping people and denying treatment. 80% of Medicare Advantage plans are for-profit and therefore benefit greatly from “sick” patients. These Medicare Advantage firms use deceptive advertising to make these plans seem favorable to seniors when in reality, seniors are denied many options when seeking help. A lot of doctors are considered “out of network” for patients with Medicare Advantage plans, which leaves them with insurmountable fees to pay and denied coverage.
These Medicare Advantage plans will often target younger seniors and promise them low rates while they are healthier. This leads to people believing that this plan will also be beneficial to them. In reality, as seniors become “sicker” they will have very few options with this healthcare plan. Medicare Open Enrollment began on October 15, and this is a great time to reevaluate your healthcare plan.

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Rock The Boat

‘Rock the Boat’ is a simple exercise. You can use a chair for support if needed. Begin the exercise by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, with even weight on each side.

Make sure to stand up straight with your shoulders back and head looking forward.

Raise one foot off the ground, bring your leg up and hold for about 30 seconds. Repeat this exercise with the other leg. You can choose the amount of reps that feels comfortable for you.

Tightrope Walks

Tightrope walks can also help with your balance. Hold your arms out straight from your sides and walk in a straight line, pausing each time you lift a foot off the ground. Keep your eyes focused on a spot straight ahead of you. You can take around 15-20 steps along the “tightrope.”

Flamingo Stand

Flamingo stands are another good exercise. All that you have to do is stand on one leg. When you are standing on one leg, make sure to keep your eyes looking forward. Extend your leg behind you and hold the position for 10 to 15 seconds, and then repeat with your opposite leg. If you feel unsteady, stand next to a sturdy chair. You are going to want to be able to do this for 30-60 seconds.

Back Leg Raises

Back leg raises are similar to flamingo raises, but you do not bring your leg up as far. You should use a chair for balance. When doing this exercise, do not bend your knee or point your toes. The goal is to get your leg back as far as you can until you feel a stretch.

Marching

FInally, marching or walking in place can be a great balancer exercise. You can utilize a chair to stay balanced during this exercise. You are going to want to walk in place and bring your knee up to your chest. You want to hold your knee up at your chest for a couple of seconds and then put it back down. You are going to want to alternate this at least 20 times on each side.

To schedule an appointment with one of our pain management physicians, call us today at 732.202.3000!


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