Interventional spine procedures are used to treat and manage back pain and spine conditions. Our interventional neuroradiology team uses the latest high-resolution imaging technology including X-ray, ultrasound (sound waves), a 128-slice CT scanner (a series of X-ray images), to diagnose spine conditions, such as:
- Chronic Back Pain (pain that lasts longer than six months)
- Compression Fractures (collapse of a vertebra due to trauma or weakening of the vertebra)
- Degenerative Disc Disease (the changes in your spinal discs as you age, most common in the lower back and neck)
- Herniated Discs (damaged discs in the spine that are bulging or have broken open)
Imaging technology provides precision guidance for the minimally invasive procedures used in spine surgeries performed at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.
- Epidural steroid injections, a combination of a strong anti-inflammatory medicine and a pain relief medicine that is injected into the nerve root, facet joint and sacroiliac (SI) joints with guidance from a fluoroscope (X-ray machine). This procedure is used to reduce inflammation and pain.
- Medial branch blocks, a procedure where a local anesthetic is injected near the small medial nerves that are connected to a specific facet joint in order to relieve pain. This primarily diagnostic procedure helps to determine if the facet joint is the source of your pain.
- Vertebroplasty, an outpatient procedure that involves the injection of a special medical-grade bone cement through a small incision in your skin. The cement hardens and provides pain relief and stabilization to fractured vertebrae.
- Kyphoplasty, a minimally invasive stabilizing surgery that can help treat the pain associated with vertebral compression fractures and restore any spinal height that was lost due to the vertebra collapse. During kyphoplasty treatment, your surgeon places an image-guided needle through the skin into your fractured vertebra and introduces a balloon through the needle. When inflated, the balloon restores the compressed vertebra to its normal shape and normal height within the spinal cord. Once the vertebra is properly positioned, a special medical-grade bone cement is injected to strengthen the area and prevent future fractures.