Larry Gorfine, M.D. and Douglas MacLear, D.O. (two leading interventional pain management doctors in Palm Beach County) report that a more aggressive approach to acute injury statistically yields improved outcomes. In a study recently completed by Drs. Gorfine and MacLear, the incidence of surgery in those treated quickly for injuries to the small joints of the spine was zero. Complete resolution of the injury was reported in the majority of those treated rapidly.

Injury initiates an inflammatory response, which can damage tissue and lead to chronic inflammation and disability. Numerous studies have uncovered the mechanism of the inflammatory response cascade, but have not focused on the long-term effects on the small joints of the spine. The doctors of Palm Beach Spine & Diagnostic Institute performed a retrospective study of the effect of rapid intra-articular treatment of injuries of the spine to delayed and conservative treatment. One hundred and eleven patients were evaluated comparing standard physical therapy and conservative treatments to early intra-articular injection therapy. Thirty percent of the patients had neck injuries, ten percent had thoracic or mid-spine injuries and sixty percent had low back injuries. Patients treated more rapidly statistically had improved outcomes, with those treated most timely demonstrating complete recovery.

Drs. Gorfine and MacLear are suggesting, based on this and other recent data, that past concepts of conservative therapy, including rest and physical therapy, may actually hinder recovery and healing after injury. The more appropriate and modern approach is to rapidly treat spinal injuries. This and other studies show markedly improved outcomes and functional performance.

For more information about interventional pain management in Palm Beach County, please Contact Us.

Palm Beach Spine & Diagnostic Institute, and Drs. Gorfine & MacLear are located at 2290 Tenth Avenue North, Lake Worth 33461; telephone: 561-649-8770.