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Treating Pain & Changing Lives

Nobody wants to live in pain. The patients featured in these stories suffered real pain and wanted their lives back — so they took action. And so can you.

Patient Success Story

Chronic Back Pain

30 years of serving his country all came to an end after the pain from a lingering back injury caught up with John Richardson. The pain became progressively worse. By the end of his assignment year in East Africa, he had severe pain and numbness. His physical condition forced him to retire. “I wasn't able to stand or sit for long periods of time, and pain degraded my ability to concentrate,” he said. John took action and found relief.

Read More Success Stories

I am pleased to sing the praises of National Spine and Pain Centers and in particular Dr. Suneetha Budampati and her team. Since 2004, I have lived with severe chronic pain which resulted in 3 total knee replacements, hypnosis, peripheral knee surgery, and many other methods, procedures, and including ever-increasing larger amounts of opioids administered through the Pain Center. Over a total of 14 years, I have sought assistance from several doctors at the Pain Center. Not until I switched my care to Dr. Budampati in late 2018 did she persuade me to undergo a Dorsal Root Ganglion (DRG) trial, which successfully reduced my intake of pain meds and showed me that I could live life with reduced pain. Following the successful DRG trial, I underwent the Dorsal Root Ganglion (DRG) procedure, which included implantation of the device by a local surgeon. Dr. Budampati is a superb doctor. She knows her profession, science and medicine, and her bedside manner is sensitive and considerate. She single-handed changed my mind! She convinced me to trust her. On several occasions, Center Manager Shadi Jahanshad has helped me with appointments and other administrative functions at National Spine and Pain Centers. She is always courteous and…

- Maggie Bertin

Bernard J. West, Sr., looked forward to spending his retirement years on the move. Having spent his career working for Baltimore Metro, he was done sitting—on buses, at desks, in control centers, etc. He was going to the gym and enjoying his retirement life until he started to experience unbearable pain in his back and legs, especially when moving or standing. When his primary care physician was unable to resolve the pain, he referred Bernard to Mark Coleman, M.D. at National Spine & Pain Centers. Dr. Coleman determined that Bernard, like many people his age, was suffering from spinal stenosis and arthritis. A series of nerve root injections helped alleviate much of the pain in his back, but Bernard was still suffering from significant leg pain. So Dr. Coleman recommended Bernard to consider the MILD procedure (minimally invasive lumbar decompression). MILD involves only a small incision under local anesthesia and takes less than an hour. There are no stitches, no difficult recovery from general anesthesia. Using fluoroscopic (x-ray) guidance, Dr. Coleman located and removed small pieces of bone and excess ligament tissue in Bernard’s back to restore space in the spinal canal and decrease the compression on nerves that were…

- Bernard J. West, Sr.

Virginia Jenkins vividly recalls the searing pain a spinal compression fracture caused her mother. So when Virginia woke up one morning and screamed in pain as she tried to get out of bed, memories of her mother’s compression fracture came flooding back to her—and with good reason. Virginia suffers from osteoporosis, just as her mother had. The brittle bones in her back are easily susceptible to fracture. But unlike other bones in the body, broken vertebrae in the back generally crumble rather than fracture in two. Virginia believes her compression fracture was the result of sitting for more than eight straight hours on a trans-Atlantic flight. “I didn’t have any pain when I got off the plane, but the next day it was excruciating,” she recalled. An MRI confirmed Virginia’s suspicions. Within days, she was in Dr. Daniel Kendall’s McLean, Virginia office. Dr. Kendall recommended kyphoplasty, a minimally invasive interventional procedure that would correct the spinal compression fracture and relieve her pain. Using x-ray guidance, Dr. Kendall guided a needle to the fractured bone and then inserted a small, orthopedic balloon into the vertebra and inflated the balloon to raise the collapsed bone to regain height. He removed the balloon…

- Virginia Jenkins

Paul Shearin is no stranger to pain. During his 30-year career in critical care, trauma and pulmonary medicine he often had to lift and move patients and medical equipment. This led to herniated discs and other back injuries. But thanks to the care he received from the physicians at National Spine & Pain Centers, he was able to get back on his feet and back to work as clinical director and administrative director of Pulmonary and Neurology Medicine at St. Agnes Hospital in Baltimore. But then Paul got hit with a completely different kind of pain. Extensive abdominal surgery left him in intensive care for almost a full month and with a scar that stretches from one side of his rib cage to the other. Because the surgery required cutting through his all his abdominal muscles, Paul struggled with severe lingering pain—pain that his surgeons acknowledged would be best addressed by working with a pain specialist. Although he initially came to National Spine & Pain Centers for his back pain, Paul returned to NSPC because he knew that National Spine & Pain Centers physicians are board certified in the specialty of pain medicine and are experts at treating all forms of chronic pain.…

- Paul Shearin

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