OrthoArkansas Spine Center
Major advancements have been achieved in the study and treatment of painful spine conditions. OrthoArkansas is committed to accurately diagnosing and treating spinal ailments and disorders safely, effectively, and as non-invasively as possible.
From our OrthoArkansas Spine Center, our board-certified spine physiatrists use state-of-the-art fluoroscopy for both diagnostic and therapeutic capacities. Having determined the source of your problem, they approach treatment with three goals in mind:
· reduced use of medications
· prevention of surgery when safe and appropriate
Emphasizing outpatient care and cost-effective health management, our physicians may utilize injection-based treatments, physical therapy, exercise, and/or medications as part of your treatment.
To make your experience as seamless and comfortable as possible, we make you aware of what to expect during and after a typical procedure. Please read carefully the information provided below for detailed information, and if you have further questions, call OrthoArkansas Surgery Center at 501-604-4151.
Here’s what you should expect on the day of your procedure:
Medications: You may take routine medications (heart, blood pressure, etc.) with a small sip of water. Be prepared with a list of all your current medications, previous surgery dates/types, and any chronic or acute health problems you may be experiencing.
Do you take blood-thinning medications (aspirin, Plavix, Coumadin/Warfarin, etc.)? If so, you should have received instructions about whether to stop these medications or continue taking them. If you are unsure or have any questions, please call your scheduler or our nursing staff in advance to clarify.
Are you diabetic? If you are a diabetic AND your planned procedure involves the use of corticosteroid (may be called “cortisone” or “steroid”), your medications may need to be modified for a brief time after the procedure. Please contact the physician or physician office in charge of managing your blood sugar medications prior to your procedure to discuss and determine any required adjustments to your medications before or after your procedure.
Meals: Unless instructed otherwise, you may eat a light breakfast or lunch before your procedure. (Some procedures may be specifically ordered with light sedation. IF this is the case, we will have discussed with you that you may not eat or drink after midnight prior to your procedure, other than your usual medications.)
Time & Transportation: Please arrange to spend two-three hours at the OrthoArkansas Spine Center (including check-in, pre-operative evaluation, the procedure, and post-procedure care). Please leave all jewelry, purses, and valuables at home. Wear clean, comfortable clothing and shoes. Clothing must fit loosely over the injection site.
Arrange for a responsible adult to come along with you to your visit, stay with you on site throughout your time here, and drive you home at the appointed time. Please limit visitors as waiting room seating is limited.
Here’s what to expect during your procedure.
After checking you in, our nursing staff will evaluate your condition and take you to the procedure room via wheelchair or stretcher. The procedure room staff will help you get positioned on the procedural table (most often lying face down with a pillow under stomach or chest; sometimes lying face up).
The injection site will be sterilized with a cold, cleaning solution, and the fluoroscopy (live x-ray) machine will begin taking pictures of your spine. Fluoroscopy is important and enables the physician to see your spinal structure to ensure accurate needle placement for best results. Your physician will use a small marker to line up the planned approach.
The procedure begins with numbing medicine to deaden the area where the needle will be placed; this feels like a sharp pinch and burn like a bee sting. At this point, we expect you to feel mostly pressure as the needle is advanced to the correct position in or near your spine.
Once the needle’s position has been checked from several angles, contrast dye is injected to verify that medication will flow to the correct area the physician is targeting. At this point, it is common to slightly adjust the needle to ensure an ideal result. Once the final position is verified, the medication will be injected.
During the treatment, our nurses will closely monitor your vital signs. The actual procedure typically takes about 15 – 20 minutes, and soon after, you’ll be moved to the recovery room. Here, your vital signs will again be monitored for safety before you go. Most patients only need stay in recovery a brief time.
Here’s what to expect after your procedure.
Before leaving after your procedure, you should receive a post-procedure packet with useful information about what to expect and what to watch out for. It is common to experience increased discomfort following an interventional spine procedure. Often, this is due to the local anesthetic (numbing medicine) wearing off before the therapeutic medication (often steroid) begins to work.
Your packet should contain all the details your need related to post-procedure habits and activity; however, here are some general tips:
DO plan to take it easy for the remainder of the day (unless instructed otherwise for diagnostic purposes).
DO NOT drive or operate machinery.
DO NOT drink alcoholic beverages.
Again, if you are a diabetic and your spinal procedure involved corticosteroids, please closely monitor your blood sugar levels. If they reach dangerous levels, seek medical attention. For further details about your procedure, please call your personal physician.
INSURANCE / FEES
Most insurance plans cover necessary spine treatments. We will attempt to verify with your insurance company concerning your individual policy before the day of the procedure. Please bring your insurance or Medicare/Medicaid card with you to the OrthoArkansas Spine Center. Charges incurred will include the use of the OrthoArkansas Spine Center facilities as well as all supplies, drugs, and materials used during your stay. If you do not have medical insurance, a deposit will be required when you register. Your physician will bill you separately for your prior consultation, procedural treatment, and follow-up.