UH News

University Hospitals Conneaut and Geneva medical centers treat patients with back and neck pain individually, safely at Spine and Pain Center

Thursday, April 10, 2014

ASHTABULA COUNTY—After years of living with debilitating back pain due to degenerative disc disease, Jon Lambert of Ashtabula sought the comprehensive expertise of the Spine and Pain Center at University Hospitals (UH) Conneaut and Geneva medical centers.

“My previous specialist had prescribed Fentanyl to relieve my pain, which I later learned is 81 times more powerful than morphine,” says Mr. Lambert, 52. “When I came to the Spine and Pain Center at UH Geneva Medical Center, I said I didn’t want to hurt anymore but I didn’t want to be on drugs anymore, either.”

Mr. Lambert first consulted with Arpan Desai, DO, the Center’s Medical Director, in 2009. After assessing his condition, Dr. Desai weaned him off the Fentanyl patches and began treating his pain with regular epidural steroid injections. “We offer nonsurgical management of complex spinal disorders and our patients include people like Mr. Lambert who have already had surgery,” says Dr. Desai, an interventional pain specialist board certified and fellowship trained in anesthesiology and pain management. “Our primary goal is to improve people’s pain and function so they can return to normal activities as much as possible.”

Dr. Desai and his teams at UH Conneaut and Geneva medical centers accomplish that goal primarily with interventional treatments including injections for spinal arthritis, pinched nerves, disc herniations and sciatica. The Spine and Pain Center’s capabilities also include, when appropriate, advanced techniques like radiofrequency ablation – heating of the nerve branches to reduce arthritic back and neck pain – and spinal cord stimulation, in which a mild electric current blocks nerve impulses in the spine. The full array of the Center’s treatments are available at both community hospital locations.

Mr. Lambert says his pain is like “night and day” since Dr. Desai’s individualized, medication-free, outpatient treatment plan began. “I have a better quality of life than I had before, without a doubt,” he adds. “At the beginning I couldn’t stand or sit upright – I was trying to get from moment to moment before I met Dr. Desai. The injections have changed my life. I can function now, where I couldn’t before.”

The Spine and Pain Center, which opened five years ago, employs evidence-based medicine and the latest techniques for pain management. Because a patient’s back or neck pain sometimes requires surgical treatment, Dr. Desai also maintains relationships with outstanding University Hospitals spine surgeons at UH Geauga Medical Center in Chardon and UH Concord Health Center in Concord.

To schedule a pain management consultation in Ashtabula County with spine specialist Arpan Desai, DO, at either UH Conneaut or UH Geneva Medical Center, call the Spine and Pain Center at 440-593-0203.

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