Keep On Moving: Woodbury Spine provides a personalized care approach in the treatment of spine-related pain.
Barry Faust’s excruciating lower back pain landed him in his local emergency room, where the ER doctor recommended he be evaluated and treated by Woodbury Spine’s physicians Dr. Evan O’Brien and Dr. Michael Greene.
The Swedesboro resident spoke with the office and was happy to be given a prompt appointment to see Greene, the practice’s interventional pain physician.
“I’m an electronics engineer and spend a lot of time sitting in front of a computer,” explains Faust. “My back pain was so bad, I was unable to go to work for over six weeks.
I couldn’t drive and could not sit in a chair for more than 45 minutes at a time. I was taking muscle relaxants and still could barely move. At a time of the year when I like to play golf and tennis and go fishing, I was immobile in my house.”
All of that changed after his treatment at Woodbury Spine. With spine surgeon O’Brien, who received “Top Physicians” recognition from South Jersey Magazine most recently in 2012, and Greene, the practice is able to offer patients the latest diagnostic and treatment options available to alleviate spine-related pain and improve the quality of life for the patients. The treatment team is rounded out by two Physician Assistants, Nick Kaffl and Chris Hennessey, with more than a combined 28 years of experience in the field between them.
Greene’s interest in pain medicine began while he was in medical school at Nova Southeastern University. His father sought treatment for his severe low back pain and the two felt that there was a personal element of the treatment that was often lacking. During his residency training in New York City, Greene spent his available time with the hospital’s interventional pain physician, where he decided to pursue further sub-specialty training. He completed a pain management fellowship at Temple University, one of the country’s top training programs.
A patient’s experience at Woodbury Spine is streamlined and smooth. “We take time with our patients to fully understand their complaints and concerns, which also allows us to thoroughly explain each patient’s condition and treatment plan following a comprehensive physical exam,” says Greene. “We offer patients treatment options tailored to their individual needs. I have always believed that it is crucial to treat an entire patient, not just an individual symptom. Once the patient’s source of pain has been identified and treated, I work with each patient to better understand the underlying pathology and how to attempt to prevent further flair ups or exacerbations of the pain complaints.”
Patients suffering with chronic pain often undergo diagnostic procedures in order to pinpoint the source of their pain. Once this pain generator is identified, therapeutic procedures including epidural injections, nerve blocks and facet injections are administered to help treat and control the identified pain area. In situations where the more conservative interventional techniques do not reduce the pain to an acceptable level, minimally invasive surgical procedures including neuromodulation, commonly called spinal cord stimulation, may be performed. This has been shown to be incredibly successful in those with failed back surgery syndrome, where pain persists after a spine surgery.
Faust states he experienced no pain during or after his epidural injection following an MRI of his lower back. He was able to return to work and his normal activities while remaining 100-percent pain free. “Woodbury Spine offers friendly personalized service, and I like that I never have to wait long before the doctor sees me. Dr. Greene was very friendly and explained my condition in terms I could understand, with the aid of a computerized 3D MRI image. He was very careful and expert in his diagnosis and treatment plan.”
Another satisfied patient is Kathleen Nachman of Mickleton. A consumer loan officer, she had difficulty walking and it affected other daily activities. “Dr. Greene identified my pain was in my sacroiliac joint and he gave me steroid injections which made me feel much better. I had gotten shots before, but in the wrong location. Dr. Greene was able to pinpoint the spot that required the injection. He is very thorough.”
Greene believes that “pain is an ailment that can dominate a person’s day-to-day life. In helping to decrease or eliminate a patient’s pain, we are able to essentially give them back their lives and allow them to once again enjoy their day-to-day activities and hobbies.” When asked about his work, Greene adds, “The change that I have seen in so many of my patients is what I love about my job. I work hard for each patient so that I can help them to control their pain. They return for follow-up visits after undergoing a procedure and I am able to see the change in their demeanor that comes with being able to go back to living their lives without the burden of being dominated by pain.”
1225 N. Broad St., Suite 3
Published (and copyrighted) in the Art of Living Well pull-out section of Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 3, Issue 9 (November, 2012).
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