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Gary’s Pain Management Treatment

Passion, dedication and great technique are all noticeable qualities of an avid golf enthusiast – and Gary was no exception. He spent hours on the greens, perfecting his game and letting off some steam. But when his back pain became so severe that it kept him from being able to swing, bend and walk, he knew he had to get help from a specialist.

Gary saw Dr. Chetan Patel at the Spine Health Institute in January 2014. At that time, he underwent a series of tests through which Dr. Patel diagnosed him with scoliosis and L4 – L5 and L5 – S1 spondylolisthesis. No stranger to back problems, Gary had already received two spinal fusions many years ago, and these previous surgeries, combined with the severity of his current condition, put his likelihood of having a successful third surgery at only 60%. This was one reason that Dr. Patel recommended maximizing the use of non-surgical treatment options before considering a complex revision surgery. Gary agreed, and was referred to Dr. Kayvan Ariani, a pain management specialist at SHI, for injections to better identify and treat the source of his pain.

Dr. Ariani spoke to Gary about the different injections that were available for his condition. Together, they decided that an epidural injection was the best option for Gary, and the relief it provided was almost immediate. “The injection relieved the constant pain in my left hip,” Gary said. “I was able to bend forward, which is something I haven’t been able to do in years. I also got some of my flexibility back.”

To further address Gary’s back pain, Dr. Ariani also performed a radiofrequency ablation procedure. This treatment involves applying heat to nerve pathways to stop the pain signals that are being sent to the brain. It is an outpatient procedure and patients can usually go home the same day. While Dr. Ariani cautioned Gary that it could take as long as two to three weeks to feel an improvement, just 24 hours later, the patient was 100% pain-free – and has been ever since.

“I feel like a new man; I have my mobility back and I’m planning on playing some golf in the next month,” Gary said excitedly. He and his wife are thankful that the Spine Health Institute team got to the root of his problem instead of just masking it, and they credit the comprehensive approach to his treatment as the best they could have received.

According to Gary, Dr. Ariani is not only an amazing physician, but a great friend as well. Expressing his gratitude to the SHI team, Gary repeated how eager he is to get back to practicing his golf swing and added, “There is no way for me to repay what the physicians and staff have done for me or how they made me feel. Thank you.”

If you’re a golfer like Gary and would like to learn how to enhance your swing while keeping your spine safe, check out our Golf Fore Life program at the Spine Health Institute. Call 407-303-3451 for more information.