Combined Rheumatology and Pain Management

Most Rheumatologists (Arthritis specialists) will have a good understanding of the medical (ie drug or psychologically based treatment) of chronic pain.  I believe that combining medical and interventional skills allows the best options for  treatment.

The term “Interventions” refers to that range of treatments between conservative care with pain killers or physical therapy and major surgery. It usually implies “percutaneous” techniques meaning methods of accessing deep structures without opening the skin and tissues surgically to gain direct physical contact. In general this is done with needles, electrical devices or endoscopic instruments under direct visualisation with continuous X-ray screening called fluoroscopy.  These are usually day case procedures conducted in a operating theatre with light sedation for comfort. I summarise this as “stabs and jabs” and describe myself as doing “anything with a needle, nothing with a knife”.

The advanced imaging platforms available at KIMS Hospital is also allowing refinement and development of these techniques

To do this I pursued training by joining the International Spinal Intervention Society (ISIS: an American Professional Society) and have benefitted from their well-developed interventional techniques training programme.  I continue to believe that the ISIS technical standards are the best evolved and most scientifically rigorous. I now have the pleasure of helping to organise the European section of ISIS and teaching on their courses.

I now have a well developed range of techniques for the treatment of acute and chronic spinal pain problems and can deliver these from the newly opened Kent Institute (KIMS Hospital). I can also use these treatments at The London Bridge Hospital and at the Horder Centre for NHS patients, though not all of my possible treatments are provided by the NHS nor available in each private hospital.