Memorial Hospital Launches Interventional Pain Service
March 26, 2021
NORTH CONWAY, NH – For many patients suffering with chronic pain, narcotics are a common choice to manage their pain. Helping patients better manage pain without turning to narcotics is the goal of the interventional pain clinic at Memorial Hospital.
Specially-trained nurse anesthesiologists provide treatment using a variety of spinal injections and other procedures all administered in a hospital setting. Zachary Chase, director of anesthesia and interventional pain services at Memorial, is part of a team of four Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) who oversee the service. Pain intervention procedures at Memorial maximize patient safety by taking place in a full operating room, not in an exam room in an outpatient practice.“We do injections in a full operating room with all of the resources available for us,” said Chase. Among those resources is a C-arm. C-arms are used for imaging during surgeries including, orthopedic and emergency care procedures and provide increased accuracy for the clinician as they pinpoint treatment. This is especially important for spinal procedures. We also have the ability to use sedation in this setting for appropriate patients.
Interventional pain services such as Memorial’s are often prescribed for patients when other treatments, such as ibuprofen or oral steroids, prove ineffective. Appropriate candidates are also patients attempting to transition from narcotics to other forms of treatment, or patients with a fear of narcotics. Chase says this is important as opioid misuse is at a high level in New Hampshire.
“We offer non-narcotic options for patients looking to avoid opiates, or for those who don’t want to be exposed to them. We help keep our patients pain free without complications and issues associated with opioid medications.”
All of Memorial’s CRNAs are participating in interventional pain services. Chase says this makes scheduling an appointment easier and provides the patient with “a familiar face” for the procedure.
“Patients will likely see a provider who they met for a previous surgery or procedure. That’s an advantage of getting your care from a community hospital like Memorial. ”Because of this prior relationship, providers may already be familiar with the patient’s background.“It’s good when we already have some experience with the patient. What is their health history? Are they nervous?
Do they want to be awake? We can provide sedation if the patient requests it or is anxious. It’s a collaboration.”
In addition to spinal injections, the interventional pain program also performs joint and trigger point injections. Memorial plans to grow these services over time. In the near future we also will start treatment for chronic migraines and cervical dystonia (muscle spasm) with targeted Botox injections. The department “is very cutting edge. We will be the only one in the region offering this treatment,” said Chase.
Memorial Hospital pain intervention services include:
- Epidural Steroid Injections (both interlaminar and transforaminal)
- Facet Joint, Sacroiliac Joint, and Selective Nerve Root: Diagnostic and Therapeutic Neurotomies
- Intraarticular joint injections with Regenerative "Biologics"
- Intramuscular and Trigger Point Injections, using either anti-inflammatories and/or Botox.
- Epidural Steroid Injections (a minimally-invasive procedure that is used to treat neck, shoulder, arm, back, and leg pain resulting from inflammation of spinal nerve roots)
- Medial Branch Blocks/Facet Joint Injections (to both diagnose and treat pain emanating from the small joints of the spine, performed under live X-ray guidance).
- Major Joint (Shoulder, Hip, and Knee) Injections (used to treat pain stemming from a variety of causes, including osteoarthritis).
About Memorial Hospital
Memorial Hospital is a not-for-profit 25-bed Critical Access Hospital located in North Conway, NH, and is a member of the MaineHealth family. Its hospital services include a 24-hour emergency department, surgery center, clinical laboratory, heart health & wellness programs, imaging services, cardiopulmonary care, family birthing center, oncology, chemotherapy and infusion services. Practices include primary care and family medicine, diabetes care, behavioral health, women's health, podiatry, orthopedics and physical therapy. Memorial Hospital is also home to The Merriman House nursing home, which provides senior care services in a comfortable, home-like setting. For more information, www.memorialhospitalnh.org or call 603-356-5461.