Available at these locations in Alberta:

Grande Prairie

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Patient information and preparation:

Special Instructions

  • Wear comfortable, breathable and lightweight clothing
  • All spinal procedures require you to have a driver organized for safety reasons
  • Avoid chewing gum, as this creates bowel gas, obscuring the detail required for us to safely perform your procedure
  • Tell your doctor if you have a latex or contrast (iodine) allergy, are diabetic and/or taking antibiotics or blood thinners
  • Arrive 15 minutes before your appointment
  • You will be provided with a screening questionnaire/consent form and will be given the opportunity to ask any questions about the procedure
  • You will be laying on your stomach for the duration of the procedure and it’s important to forewarn your doctor if you’re unable to hold this position or have mobility issues

What to expect during your procedure

  • The radiologist will clean the skin and administer a small amount of local anesthetic prior to performing the procedure
  • Using live x-ray, the radiologist will then direct the needle toward the target area and administer the medication
  • You will be required to lie on your stomach and keep still during the course of this procedure

What to expect after your procedure

  • You will be monitored in the clinic and asked to complete a post-procedure pain score survey before discharge
  • You will be provided with an aftercare instruction sheet, including a list of potential complications to watch for
  • Whenever a needle is placed anywhere in the body, even something as simple as getting blood drawn, there is a risk of infection, bleeding, and nerve damage; while these complications are rare, it’s essential that you be made aware of these risks and remain vigilant.

Spinal Procedures

Facet Injection

This fluoroscopy-guided, noninvasive procedure involves the injection of cortisone or other medications into one or more of the (cervical, thoracic or lumbar) facet joints of the spine, in order to effectively reduce inflammation and block pain.

Back stresses and injury, as well as arthritis and numerous other conditions can result in facet joint related pain and, given that these joints are responsible for guiding motion and providing stability, we are pleased to provide this effective, long-term solution.

Medial Branch Block (MBB)

Medial branch nerves are those responsible for feeding pain signals from the facet joints to the brain. During the MBB diagnostic procedure, fluoroscopic imaging and contrasting is employed to safely inject a dose of local anesthetic into these specific nerve endings, in order to determine whether their associated facet joints are indeed responsible for the patient’s pain.

A patient pain score diary is kept over the subsequent 24h, allowing the radiologist to either diagnose or at least eliminate certain sources as the culprit, thereby also determining whether or not the patient qualifies for an RFN.

Radiofrequency Neurotomy/Ablation (RFN)

Radiofrequency Neurotomy is a procedure used to treat facet joint pain caused by degenerative changes or injury. Using fluoroscopic guidance and local anesthetic, the radiologist guides a needle toward nerve endings. The needle is then heated, creating a lesion to interrupt signals to the brain, effectively eliminating the pain.

The RFN procedure is employed to treat facet joint pain associated with degenerative changes and injury.

Conducted under fluoroscopic imaging guidance and following the application of a local anesthetic, a needle is heated at a point along the relevant facet joint nerve fibre that is responsible for the pain. This results in a temporary lesion on the nerve ending, which will interrupt the pain signal and eliminate associated pain in the long term (6-12 months).

Epidural Steroid Injection (ESI)

An Epidural Steroid Injection is an injection of cortisone around targeted nerves, to reduce inflammation and provide pain relief. The target area is numbed using local anesthetic and, using live x-ray, the needle is guided into the sac around the nerves.

Dye is used to confirm placement before injecting a mixture of cortisone (steroid, anti inflammatory) and Marcaine, a local anesthetic. An ESI is a non-invasive procedure effective in the relief of neck, back, arm and leg pain associated with the spinal nerve inflammation that results from conditions and injuries such as spinal stenosis, disc herniation and spondylolysis.

Following anesthetic dosage and under fluoroscopically guidance, a cortisone/Marcaine mixture is injected into the epidural space around the relevant nerve, in order to treat inflammation and numb pain signals.

Nerve Root Block (NRB)

Effective in the treatment of arm or leg pain associated with particular nerves, an NRB involves the fluoroscopically guided injection of Marcaine, a local anesthetic and cortisone at particular nerve roots, where they branch from the spine in the area of the foramen.

The injection is administered following numbing by local anaesthetic.

The difference between an NRB and an ESI is essentially the target point, ie: the nerve root as opposed to the epidural space.

Sacroiliac Joint Injection (SI)

An SI Joint injection can be used for either diagnostic purposes (to detect sacroiliac joint dysfunction) or to treat the pain and inflammation associated with sacroiliac joint dysfunction.

After the application of a numbing agent, an injection of either a local anesthetic (in the diagnostic application) or cortisone (in the therapeutic application) is injected directly into the sacroiliac joint at the bottom of the spine where it meets the pelvis.

Coccyx injection

Administered in the treatment of coccyx pain, this procedure involves the injection of cortisone into the sacrococcygeal junction or caudal epidural space.

The injection is performed following the application of a local anesthetic and under fluoroscopic guidance.