By Dr. Matt Fischer, MD, Medical Director, ThedaCare Pain Management
I’m a doctor who specializes in pain medicine at the new ThedaCare Medical Center-Orthopedic, Spine and Pain in Appleton. For years, ThedaCare pain specialists have worked side by side with our colleagues in non-operative sports medicine and orthopedic surgery. We’re the team that has long been known as ThedaCare Orthopedic Care. What’s exciting for our pain team is that we now also work closely with the neurosurgeons of Neuroscience Group, as they practice with us at our new medical center.
Pain is the primary musculoskeletal messenger
- Pain can signal an acute problem with our muscles, bones or nerves that can be identified and addressed through minimally invasive interventions, physical therapy or surgery.
- Pain also affects people’s lives while they prepare themselves for surgery, including goals like losing weight or getting a handle on other health problems.
- In some situations, pain can linger after surgery or rehab and significantly affect a person’s outlook on life. We accompany patients on the journey and help them live their unique, best lives.
People have an understandable expectation of pain relief.
My colleagues and I are dedicated to helping them with minimally invasive treatment options for pain. These treatments can be an alternative to — or preparation for — surgery.
- Minimally invasive lumbar decompression (mild®) is a major advance for people with moderate to severe spinal stenosis. The condition causes a narrowing of the spaces within the spine, which can put pressure on the nerves that travel through the spine. It used to require ongoing spinal injections and/or surgery. The mild® procedure requires only a 3-millimeter incision.
- Vertiflex™ is a minimally invasive solution for people who suffer leg and back pain due to lumbar spinal stenosis.
- When spinal surgery is necessary, we expedite consultations with our trusted colleagues, the spinal surgeons of Neuroscience Group.
- Neuromodulation offers spinal cord stimulation, peripheral nerve stimulation, and dorsal root ganglion stimulation as alternatives to spine surgery and/or other treatments for chronic pain.
- Radiofrequency ablation uses heat energy to relieve pain from arthritis in the spine, knees, hips and shoulders.
- Our dedicated staff members are certified in cognitive behavioral therapy to provide our patients with pain coping strategies and to assist them in sticking to their treatment plans.
I’m proud of our team’s focus on the most appropriate and timely care for our patients. We opt for innovative, minimally invasive options when we can, and now we can fast-track consultations with our colleagues in spine surgery more easily than ever. Pain is the messenger that brings people to us. We listen carefully and respond thoughtfully.