The Anesthesiology/Pain Medicine Practice provides services for acute and chronic pain diagnosis, treatment, and long-term management.
Our board-certified anesthesiologists, who have also completed a one- year fellowship exclusively devoted to interventional pain management, play a critical role for patients undergoing inpatient and outpatient surgery .
The Anesthesiology/Pain Medicine Practice offers a number of medical and interventional treatments that can help most individuals manage their pain successfully.
They offer exceptional, innovative pain management care, including the most advanced minimally invasive procedures for reducing or eliminating pain and restoring physical function. Also, we support patients receiving obstetric or emergency care, or those treated a variety of acute care medical needs, such as injuries.
Anesthesia for Surgery
Northwestern Medicine maintains the highest standards for anesthesia care. Throughout your procedure, a board-certified anesthesiologist will ensure that you are safe and comfortable. We follow national standards for sterility and monitoring and use state-of-the-art equipment and technology.
Prior to your procedure, you will meet your anesthesiologist, who will review your history and formulate a highly individualized anesthesia plan with you, being sure to answer any questions you may have. Your plan will also include the need to manage post-operative pain after your surgery.
Patients experiencing pre-operative anxiety can receive a safe sedative on arrival in the Day Surgery Unit or before going into surgery. If appropriate, you will be observed post-surgery in an area known as the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) or the Recovery Room.
Learn more about preparing for Day Surgery or Inpatient Surgery.
Anesthesia for Pain Management
The goal of interventional procedures is to provide pain management services for people who suffer from acute and chronic pain issues. We work to identify the site of pain, decrease inflammation and provide relief to help you improve your quality of life.
Pain that comes from injured or inflamed nerves can often be improved by injecting certain medications to the area of injury. These treatments also allow you to work effectively with physical therapists and start personal exercise programs to regain strength and function with less pain.
What Makes Us Different?
Pain Medicine FAQ (Click to learn more)
Pain Fact of the Month
The sacroiliac joint is implicated in 18-30% of cases of chronic low back pain. Pain is typically located in the medial superior buttock but can radiate to the hip, groin or posterior thigh. With this variable presentation, it is often overlooked as a primary pain generator.
Pain is constant dull, deep and aching. Sacroiliac pain can occur after deceleration injuries and falls, as well as in scoliosis patients and those with chronic hip rotation, hip joint degeneration, or leg length discrepancy. Nearly 30% of patients experience sacroiliac pain after lumbar fusion surgery.
Analgesics and rehabilitation are essential starting points after a correct diagnosis. Image guided joint injections and denervation procedures can also improve chronic pain and improve function and quality of life.
Cusi Br J Sports Med. 2013 Jul;47
Cervical facet pain
Cervical facet pain is common; it is probably present in up to 50% of patients with chronic neck pain or headache. Pain is usually distributed in the neck and may radiate upwards to the occipital and frontal regions of the head, as well as down to the shoulder and the interscapular region. It is usually described as aching and deep, but may be sharp. It is usually worse with range of motion of neck. It is commonly seen in patients with an occupational history of overhead work and in those with history of a whiplashtype injury.
Analgesics and physical therapy are useful treatments. For those with recalcitrant symptoms that impair function or quality of life, fluoroscopically guided injections (medial branch blocks) are useful to confirm diagnosis. Denervation of the cervical facet joints with radiofrequency is a safe and effective procedure that can result in pain relief for up to a year.
Want to know more?
Lord SM, Barnsley L, Wallis BJ, McDonald GJ, Bogduk N. Percutaneous radio-frequency neurotomy for chronic cervical zygapophyseal-joint pain. N Engl J Med. 1996 Dec 5;335(23):1721-6.
What is Degenerative Disc Disease, really?
Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) is the likely nexus of multiple painful spinal conditions including spinal stenosis, disc herniation, facet arthritis and sacroiliac joint dysfunction. Disc pain can originate from disruption of the annulus fibrosis and in-growth of granulation tissue and nociceptors in to the disc, essentially up-regulating pain transmission from the "sick" disc. The delicate equilibrium of the disc can be disrupted by tobacco use, repetitive trauma and genetic factors. The pain caused by DDD is typically in the low back and may radiate in a non-dermatomal, non-myotomal pattern into the buttocks, hips, and thighs. Pain is classically exacerbated by prolonged sitting, driving or riding, and by spinal range of motion maneuvers. The remainder of the physical examination is usually non-specific. Most patients respond to activity modification, postural retraining, physical therapy and anti-inflammatories. Epidural steroid injections may be indicated when these conservative modalities fail.
Want to learn more?
Malik KM, Cohen SP, Walega DR, Benzon HT. Diagnostic criteria and treatment of discogenic pain: a systematic review of recent clinical literature. Spine J. 2013
Read more pain facts
Meet Our Team
Midwest Pain Society
The Anesthesiology Pain Medicine Practice, co-sponsored the Midwest Pain Society Meeting, held at Northwestern Memorial Hospital on October 25-26, 2013.
The American Pain Society is a multidisciplinary community that brings together a diverse group of scientists, clinicians, and other professionals to increase the knowledge of pain and its management, and to transform public policy and clinical practice to reduce pain-related suffering.
The Midwest Pain Society’s purpose is to further the goals and mission of the American Pain Society in the Midwestern States, including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. MPS is devoted to advancing pain-related research, education, treatment, and professional practice. Physicians, psychologists, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, and any other health professionals interested in pain care are welcome.
Beginning June 20, 2016, visit us at our new location on campus:
259 E Erie, Suite 1400
Chicago, Illinois 60611