Pain control presentation again offered at Veterans Memorial Hospital

Dr. Dave Schwartz
Dr. Dave Schwartz ... Submitted photo.

Veterans Memorial Hospital will again be offering a pain control presentation for the public April 24 and 25.   Dr. Dave Schwartz will again be hosting these informative pain control presentations which will both detail the two new pain control options he offers at Veterans Memorial Hospital in Waukon. Both presentations will include the same information but are being offered on two different days at different times to try to suit more schedules.

The Wednesday, April 24 presentation will begin at 5:30 p.m. and will be held in the Large Conference Room located on the lower level of Veterans Memorial Hospital. The Thursday, April 25 presentation will begin at 10 a.m. and will also be held in the hospital’s Large Conference Room.

These two new options for pain control that are now offered locally at Veterans Memorial Hospital help people with chronic joint pain or soft tissue/musculoskeletal pain. These new procedures provide patients with another option for pain control instead of only traditional means, such as surgery or pain pills.

Both procedures involve injections and have been successful in reducing or relieving pain, making it possible for many patients to enjoy benefits like being able to resume their normal activities or delay surgery. However, because insurance companies view these procedures as new and “experimental”, they are an out-of-pocket expense, and will not be turned into insurance.

Platelet rich plasma (PRP) injection is a procedure that utilizes the anti-inflammatory nature of the body’s own blood components to reduce inflammation and promote healing. PRP injections involve taking blood from the patient, processing it to concentrate the platelets in the plasma, and then injecting it into the problem areas, such as the back, shoulders, SI joints or knees. Inflammation and pain is reduced using the body’s own natural processes. The patient is usually at the hospital for about an hour and a half for this procedure. Other than the blood draw, this procedure is very similar to steroid/cortisone injections.

The other procedure uses bone marrow concentrate (BMC), which contains stem cells, to promote healing and pain relief. The term “stem cell” is a general term, and can refer to a variety of sources. VMH uses bone marrow obtained from the back of the patient’s hip bone. This is typically done under light sedation and local anesthetic. The procedure involves taking a small volume of the patient’s bone marrow, processing it, and then injecting it into the problem area.   PRP and BMC/stem cell procedures are frequently used hand in hand. The length of stay for this procedure is about two to three hours.

Several studies have shown that stem cells will mature into new tissue, similar to their surroundings. For example, if injected into the knee, the stem cells may go on to form new cartilage over time, and help alleviate joint pain. It is expected to take six months to one year to see the full benefits of that injection.

Patients receiving the BMC/stem cell procedure generally leave the hospital with minimal discomfort, but because there is IV sedation, they must arrange for a driver to take them home. Patients receiving only PRP injections are able to drive themselves.

“Many have been traveling a great distance for these procedures. Offering them locally is a positive for the hospital and the surrounding communities,” states Dr. Dave Schwartz.

Both kinds of injections are considered outpatient procedures, and are done in the hospital’s surgery department. The cost for each procedure is dependent on the type of procedure done, and the number of areas injected. Total cost is determined at the time of the consultation with Dr. Schwartz and full payment is made the day of service.

For more information, call the Veterans Memorial Hospital Surgical Coordinator at 563-568-3411. The Surgical Coordinator can then arrange for a consultation with Dr. Schwartz.

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