Columbia St. Mary's Offers New Procedure for Back Pain

Tuesday, April 02, 2002

Recently, the physicians of the Pain Center at St. Mary's Hospital of Milwaukee used a new procedure to treat a patient with back pain.

Dr. Steven Donatello, Director of the Pain Center, board certified in Pain Management and Anesthesiology, successfully performed the procedure called "nucleoplasty" in the Hospital's Outpatient Department. This is the first time this procedure was performed in Milwaukee and southeastern Wisconsin.

Nucleoplasty is a minimally invasive treatment for contained herniated discs. It is performed under fluoroscopic (x-ray) guidance on an outpatient basis. Local anesthesia and mild sedation are used to reduce discomfort during the procedure. The process involves placing a needle into the disc and then inserting a small instrument through the needle called a "spine wand." Using the wand, the physician then creates a series of channels in the disc, thermally treating the tissue and causing decompression of the disc, thereby reducing pain. The procedure takes less than an hour, and the patient requires only a brief recovery before being discharged to go home. For more information, contact the Pain Center at St. Mary's Hospital of Milwaukee at 291-1778.


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