Our Pain Management Process
When you arrive to the clinic for your initial consult, a picture I.D., insurance card, and verification of current insurance will be necessary. Any insurance co-pays that are due will be paid at this time. You will need to bring with you all diagnostic studies that are relative to your area of pain, with reports if possible. These studies should be on a compact disc. If you only have films or reports, you should notify the office before your appointment, or risk being rescheduled as we prefer to evaluate images using the tools that computer software offers.
If you have been referred for pain and it is related to a work injury or motor vehicle accident it is your responsibility to identify this on the first evaluation. All necessary paperwork and insurance authorizations are your responsibility; any attorney involvement should also be identified so that documentation can be provided to their office.
Any type of paperwork or documentation for disability, restrictions, or work-off will require up to 1 - 2 weeks to complete and will involve a fee which will be paid upon completion. In most cases, a meeting will be scheduled with you to assure that the documentation is completed accurately.
If you arrive to this clinic off-work or on restrictions from another physician, they will continue this process until we have had time to review the documentation. No restrictions or time-off will be provided on the initial evaluation. Once reviewed, we will determine if continuation is warranted or if other studies or evaluations are necessary. We feel that you and your employer benefit by you continuing to work in some capacity, so we will make every attempt to return you to work. If you miss work, or require time off during treatment it will be necessary for you to notify the clinic on the day missed. No retroactive missed days will be covered. If you are released from work you will be required to attend weekly pain management sessions to help you receive the care and attention you need to return to work.
Commitment and Experience
We have 25 years of experience in the diagnosis and management of intractable pain. We utilize the most advanced technologies available, and are actively involved in the with the major manufacturers in the development of new strategies and techniques in the management of pain. We are currently training, and have trained many of the pain physicians from all over the country, as well Michigan. We were the first in the state of Michigan to perform many of these techniques.
We make one assumption, that our patients have failed conservative options, are not candidates for surgery, or have had surgery that failed to control their pain. We assume we are their last stop, so we do everything necessary to provide them with hope, and management of their intractable pain.
Understanding is key to your success
Your first appointment with Dr. Ferro will begin the pain management treatment process. His focus will be on medical factors contributing to your pain issues and identifying your initial course of treatment. Effective pain management requires a multidisciplinary intervention. Dr. Ezzo will meet with you to continue the evaluation process and help coordinate other needed treatments that can help increase your chances of success.
Throughout your treatment with MdPM, formal evaluations can occur as we conduct regular meetings to evaluate patient issues. These are call staffings and can be triggered by medical issues, such as:
Side effects or drug interaction issues
Changes in your medical condition
Less than desirable results from a procedure
If your have a case manager assisting you with your medical treatments they can be invited to attend a staffing meeting. Please encourage them to participate.
Our goal is to provide long term pain control, improved functional capability, improved quality of life, and reduced medication requirements.
We utilize state of the art interventional technology in the control and stabilization of intractable pain. One of our specialties is in the management of failed spine surgery pain in both neck and low back, along the pain which can extend into the extremities. With the use of advanced technologies, such as Spinal Cord Stimulation, Peripheral Nerve Stimulation, and Spinal Infusion Pumps, we can significantly control or improve pain from spinal surgery, peripheral neuropathies, and many forms of headaches.
We are also dedicated to providing education to the medical community. We are actively involved in the education and instruction of other interventional pain physicians. We instruct courses on the Advanced Technologies: Spinal Cord Stimulation, Peripheral Nerve Stimulation, and Spinal Infusion Systems.
Starting with team approach
Your initial evaluation or consult will be scheduled to include at minimum an evaluation from myself and our pain psychologist, Dr. Ezzo. We will review your diagnostic studies, previous treatments, medication requirements, and psychosocial compromise. This evaluation with both Dr. Ferro and Dr. Ezzo is not an option, but a requirement for the comprehensive evaluation of your pain.
Pain is not just about nerves and injury, but also how the body and mind reacts and adjusts to this pain. A pain psychologist can offer a number of treatment options himself, but more importantly he is a critical component in any effective long term program in the management of chronic pain. Developing the necessary skills and strategies to cope and deal with chronic pain can make the difference between success and failure of any pain treatment plan.
Understanding the emotional and psychological components that evolve in chronic pain conditions is critical to the effective treatment of the biology of the condition. Without it, there can be no long term success. The end result of this evaluation will be a treatment plan to fit your individual requirements. Based upon this we will develop and initiate treatment.
Everyone is part of the team
We have regular multidisciplinary team meetings involving different specialties to discuss your treatment and progress. These meetings will help us insure your positive progress, and can be attended by your managing physicians to provide involvement of the primary doctor in your care. Periodic evaluations with other clinic staff and nursing will also insure your progress and education of the treatment plan. These evaluations will be scheduled to assist in the appropriate use of different treatment options, medication use, and help educate you on the procedures and methods of your care.
Our office staff will assist in the scheduling of appointments with the different services of the clinic, diagnostic studies, and provide necessary documentation of your treatment. We will send all physicians involved in your care documentation of your treatment, it is your responsibility to identify them and their contact information on your first evaluation.
Dr. Ferro will be requesting that you undergo a pain assessment at some point in your care and always before continuing with an implant procedure. Chronic pain causes us to adjust to every circumstance in our life in an attempt to reduce our pain. It does not take long for us to create new habits and often times; these habits become counterproductive and can eventually lead to more problems.
A Surgical pre-screening is often a requirement of many insurance companies. It can help us determine if some responses are biological or psychological. In addition, the evaluation will help us determine how effective is your current medication management of your pain, including the use of extended or prolonged release medications, and how your current knowledge of your physiological problems affects your pain behaviors.
The pain reduction strategy being considered by Dr. Ferro might actually reduce most or all of your pain, however chronic pain patients often act one of two ways which can either lead to new injuries or limit the effectiveness of the procedure being considered. You can either:
• Keep doing the bad habits, which you may or may not be aware of or
• Try doing old tasks the same old way and forget that the structural problems still exist.
In either case, we want to make sure that you get the maximum benefit from the procedures you are about to undergo. We also want to make sure you are aware of all the pain management skills, and that you can apply them from a “least-to-most” strategy. Some individuals have difficulty going off their pain medications in preparation for a trial or the final procedure. Learning these strategies can increase your chances of success.
Finally, the procedures you will be undergoing can be both physically and emotionally taxing. Your chronic pain has most likely challenged you so it’s important to better understand your current status and how we could best address any potential needs or problems.
Our Surgical Pre-Screening assessment is designed to help us increase your chances of success and regain an active lifestyle. The assessment process typically takes 30 minutes for a review of your situation. In addition, you are asked to complete two pain assessment questionnaires and two to three psychological tests. Depending on how fast you read the entire assessment can take 2 to 3 hours.
The final report is completed and submitted to Dr. Ferro, typically by the next working day.