Pain Management

At GCM we offer a wide range of minimally invasive services and treatment options to help manage your pain and regain your life.

We are delighted to be one of the premier practices in the Washington DC Metro region to provide minimally invasive pain management therapies with our state-of-the-art Interventional, Neurointerventional, and Musculoskeletal Radiological services. Our services cover you from head to toe - from neck and back issues, spider veins of the legs, and everything in between - including pelvic and gynecologic treatments. The majority of these treatments are so minimally invasive that they can be performed as an outpatient procedure so you can go home the same day.

Our board-certified, fellowship-trained specialists provide a full spectrum of image-guided treatments for acute or chronic pain management and relief including:

  • Vertebroplasty/Kyphoplasty for Compression Fractures
  • Epidural Steroid injections for Back Pain and Sciatica
  • Facet and Nerve Root Blocks for Back Pain and Sciatica
  • Minimally Invasive Lumbar Decompression for Spinal Stenosis
  • Joint Injections of the sacroiliac, hip and shoulder joints for Pain
  • Varicose Vein Treatment for Varicose or Spider Veins
  • Uterine Fibroid Embolization for Symptomatic Fibroids
  • Ovarian Vein Embolization for Pelvic Congestion Syndrome
  • Varicocele Embolization for Pain and Infertility

Compression Fractures
A compression fracture occurs when the bones of the spine break due to trauma. Usually the bones of the spine only break from a severe accident or serious trauma. However, sometimes in elderly patients with osteoporosis or patients with cancer, these bones break more easily. The bones that most commonly break are in the mid to lower back. For the management of acute compression fractures, Vertebroplasty/Kyphoplasty is the treatment of choice. In a vertebroplasty, the radiologist uses image guidance to inject a special cement mixture through a hollow needle into the fractured bone. In a kyphohplasty, a balloon is first inserted through the needle into the fractured bone to create a cavity or space where the cement mixture is injected into. These treatments are performed on an outpatient basis.

Epidural Steroid Injections
Upper, mid and lower back pain as well as sciatica can often be diagnosed and treated with epidural steroid injections - a procedure that injects medication into a specific part of the spine. These injections can both treat a specific nerve problem and be used by your doctor to precisely locate the nerve(s) that may be causing your pain. If there are several areas of pain that exist, then more injections may be necessary to locate the exact source of the pain.

Nerve Root and Facet Block Injections These injections can help your doctor locate the source(s) of pain within the joints and/or nerves that run along the outer edge of the facet joints of your spine. The injections consist of anti-inflammatory steroid medication and/or medicine to numb the area. Usually this can reduce inflammation and result in pain relief. These injections are often used to help determine the next steps for your treatment - such as the need for physical therapy or other image-guided interventional procedures.

Degenerative Spinal Stenosis
As you get older the ligaments and bones surrounding the spinal canal may thicken and begin to press on the spinal canal. This causes the spinal canal to narrow and is called spinal stenosis. This narrowing can result in pain, numbness and disability. We offer Minimally Invasive Lumbar Decompression (MILD), which is a unique procedure developed by Vertos Medical. Our trained, qualified physicians locate and remove only those portions of tissue and bone that compress the spinal nerves and cause pain. In general, the MILD procedure takes only an hour to perform, requires no sutures due to the minimal entry point (about the diameter of a pencil), leaves no implants behind and is usually performed as an outpatient procedure.

Varicose Vein Treatments
We offer minimally invasive outpatient procedures for the treatment of superficial venous reflux disease (SVRD). SVRD is the underlying cause of varicose veins in most cases, and can also cause spider veins, swelling, burning, heaviness, and fatigue in the legs. Since valves cannot be repaired, the only alternative is to redirect the blood through healthy veins. This traditionally has been performed by surgically removing the abnormal veins from the legs by means of "stripping" which can be very painful. The VNUS closure procedure closes off the abnormal vein instead of removing it, and is a less invasive alternative to surgical vein stripping. An intravenous (IV) line is started in the diseased superficial vein in your leg and a catheter is placed into the vein through the IV site. The tip of this catheter emits radiofrequency energy which heats the vein and causes it to scar down and close. Once it has closed, the pressure of the pooling blood is no longer transmitted to the veins of the legs. This procedure is performed on an outpatient basis in our office. The patient is able to walk immediately after the procedure and usually has dramatic relief of symptoms within several days.

Pelvic and Gynecological Services
The experts at Drs. Groover, Christie and Merritt, PC offer a range of pelvic and gynecologic procedures including Uterine Fibroid Embolization to treat symptomatic fibroids, Ovarian Vein Embolization to treat Pelvic Congestion Syndrome, and Varicocele Embolization for scrotal pain and infertility. Uterine Fibroid Embolization is also known as Uterine Artery Embolization or UAE. The procedure itself takes about 30 minutes to perform, and usually requires one overnight stay in the hospital. Approximately 90 percent of patients treated with UAE experience complete or near complete relief of their related symptoms, and return to work within a week. UAE involves the placement of a small catheter in the groin. This site serves as the portal to gain access to the uterine arteries. Using fluoroscopic guidance, the interventional radiologist introduces a smaller catheter into the arteries supplying the uterus, and then injects small, harmless embolic particles no larger than a grain of sand into those arteries, effectively reducing the blood supply to the fibroids. Deprived of blood, the fibroids shrink, resulting in a reduction or complete elimination of symptoms. For pelvic congestion syndrome and Ovarian Vein Embolization, the procedure is similar, except the ovarian veins are blocked and embolized, typically with coils.

Locations for Pain Management
Pain Management Specialists