Physician First to Perform Landmark Procedure in Texas

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Dr. Chad B. Stephens of North Texas Spine and Sport; Pain Medicine Associates was the first physician in the state of Texas to use a landmark procedure to relieve patients’ chronic hip pain.

Chad B. Stephens, D.O. is a Triple Board Certified Physician in Pain Medicine and Sports Medicine and the President of North Texas Spine and Sport; Pain Medicine Associates http://www.northtss.com with clinics located throughout the North Texas area. In January, he performed a multiple cooled radiofrequency ablation of the sacroiliac joint, the hip-pelvis joint. Although he did not invent the procedure, he was the first to utilize the latest equipment that provides hip/pelvis pain relief in the quickest manner.

“What’s monumental is not the procedure itself, but that it was the first done in Texas with the new system,” Stephens said. “They came out with a machine to do more than one. It shortened a 45-minute process to 15 minutes. It may not seem like a big deal. But it is. It’s all about patient safety and convenience.”

One of those conveniences is a reduction in the need for anesthesia, which is an important safety factor for some patients. During the minimally-invasive process, Dr. Stephens burns the nerves in the sacroiliac joint with internally cooled radiofrequency probes. According to Stephens, radiofrequency energy generates heat in the surrounding tissue while internal cooling of the electrode probe moderates the temperature near the tip allowing for increased accuracy. This combination creates several spherical-shape lesions for treating multiple targets without effecting surrounding tissue. The result is pain reduction or elimination which can last up to two years.

Before, the eight nerves in the joint were burned individually for two-and-a-half minutes each. Having to adjust the probes after each ablation for all eight nerves which easily doubled the amount of time the procedure took compared to the current modality. “Now we can do multiple burns at once. There are all different ways to do this, all in the interest of doing it quickly and conveniently for the patient.” Stephens said.

Some alternatives include steroid shots. However, Stephens said the effect of those shots wear off much quicker than denervation. “Steroid shots eliminate the sensation for about two to three months,” he said. “But it will take a year or two until the nerve regenerates (after ablation).
“(An ablation) can be done as many times as it needs to be done,” Stephens continued. It provides relief to allow patients to go off their pain medicine and is a new innovation that adds to the modalities we can offer patients at North Texas Spine and Sport; Pain Medicine Associates.”

You can contact the staff of North Texas Spine and Sport; Pain Medicine Associates toll free at 1-855-627-PAIN or request an appointment on their website at http://www.northtss.com using the patient portal.

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