Doris Jessesski tried a host of treatments to ease her chronic back pain. Then a Mayo Clinic Pain Medicine specialist recommended a new type of spinal cord stimulator. Today, Doris’ debilitating back pain is gone.
When Doris Jessesski had spine surgery in 2004 at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, she thought her days of back pain were behind her. And Doris lived free of pain for 14 years after the procedure, which involved a hemilaminotomy and spinal fusion.
But in fall 2018, the discomfort came back in a big way. “It was very painful all the time,” Doris says. “I’m a walker. I couldn’t go walking. I’d be sitting down watching TV, and it hurt just to stand up.”
Doris went to see Evan R. Nelson, M.D., in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Mayo Clinic Health System ― Franciscan Healthcare in La Crosse, Wisconsin. After assessing Doris’ condition, Dr. Nelson recommended epidural steroid injections and then sacroiliac joint injections to help ease the pain, which was being caused by a spine disorder called lumbar spondylosis. But the treatments didn’t work.
Doris began taking opioid medications to manage her back pain. Dr. Nelson also recommended Doris see a Pain Medicine specialist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester for further evaluation and treatment. In Rochester, Doris underwent another procedure known as radiofrequency ablation.
“We use specialized needles and radiofrequency energy to destroy the nerves from the facet joint to alleviate back pain,” says Matthew Pingree, M.D., a Mayo Clinic Pain Medicine physician. “Unfortunately, she only had temporary relief from that.”
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