WJMC - West Jefferson Medical Center

WJMC - West Jefferson Medical Center

 

Surgical Pain Treatment

 

Chronic pain can be caused by damage to the brain, spinal cord or nerves—often as a result of a surgery, disease, or accident. Chronic pain requires the expert treatment found at West Jefferson Medical Center. Our programs include medical management, implanted pain pumps, surgical intervention, and stimulation of the nerves, spinal cord, cerebral cortex and deep brain. Our focus on research and our years of experience gives our patients access to some of the best treatment available. Following are examples of neurosurgical pain treatments: Baclofen Pumps, Microvascular Decompression, Spinal Cord Stimulators and Trigeminal Neuralgia.

Baclofen Pumps deliver the drug Baclofen (a muscle relaxer) to the fluid-filled area surrounding the spinal cord. The system consists of a pump and a catheter. Both are surgically placed under the skin, and used to treat severe spasticity (a stiffness and tightness in the muscle that affects movement).

Microvascular Decompression is a neurosurgical procedure that relieves abnormal compression of a cranial nerve. It is performed to treat trigeminal neuralgia vagoglossopharyngeal neuralgia, and hemifacial spasm. These conditions are often caused by an artery or vein compressing the nerve root as it leaves the brainstem. When compressed, normal nerve impulses can affect nearby nerve fibers and send faulty messages. Medications often provide relief to patients with these conditions, but when medications become ineffective or cause serious side effects, a treatment option is microvascular decompression.

Spinal Cord Stimulators for pain control introduces low levels of electrical current to the dorsal portion of the spinal cord to block the sensation of pain. The device is implanted during surgery, and may include a fully implanted system or a system with an outside power source. These low voltage electrical signals prevent messages of pain from reaching the brain. This treatment helps relieve intense pain allowing patients to enjoy life once again.

Trigeminal Neuralgia is an inflammation of the trigeminal nerve (one of the largest nerves in the head) causing extreme pain and muscle spasms in the face. It is one of the most painful conditions known to humans. Attacks of intense, electric shock-like facial pain can happen without warning or be triggered by touching specific areas of the face. Pain can last for days, weeks, or month and then disappear for months or years. Surgical treatments can be destructive or non-destructive. Destructive treatments control the pain by destroying or damaging sections of the trigeminal nerve. An example of destructive treatment is Gamma Knife Radiosurgery. Non-destructive surgical treatments eliminate the cause without damaging the nerve such as Microvascular Decompression.

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