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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

While most Americans would be thrilled to complete 10,000 steps in a day, Edith S. Baker was happy to do 10. Her lower back and leg pain from spinal stenosis was so excruciating that she was lucky to be able to walk four or five steps before she would need to find a place to sit down and alleviate the pain. “I would take a few steps and immediately start looking for the nearest chair,” Edith recalls. Over the course of 10 years, she visited numerous doctors, hoping to find relief from the pain, but found only frustration when they were unable to help her. Then her husband Brian heard about National Spine & Pain Centers and encouraged Edith to try one more doctor. “I didn’t think it would make a difference, but he convinced me to go.” When they met Dr. Kristoffer de Lara in National Spine & Pain Centers’ Germantown, MD office, the Bakers discovered there was hope for Edith’s debilitating pain. When a series of epidural injections did not result in sustained pain relief, Dr. de Lara suggested Edith consider the MILD (minimally invasive lumbar decompression) procedure. MILD involves only a small incision under local anesthesia and…

- Edith S. Baker

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

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