WHERE DO I GO?
All examinations and procedures are conveniently performed at Spine Technology and Rehabilitation in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Please refer to the Google site map below. On the day of your appointment, please report to the main STAR clinic.
WHAT DO I BRING?
New patients should bring their insurance card(s), driver’s license, any x-rays or other advanced imaging, and completed paperwork – This will be mailed to you at the time you schedule your appointment. If you have not received your paperwork prior to the day of your appointment, please call the clinic at (260)459-7313 so an earlier arrival time can be arranged to allow time to complete it before your appointment. Failure to have the above items at the time of your appointment may result in your appointment being rescheduled.
For any procedures, a list of pre-operative instructions will be given to you at the time of scheduling. For procedures under sedation, you must have someone with you to drive you home after the procedure. Some injections may cause your arm or leg to be weak for a few hours. Sedative medications given prior to procedures prevent you from being able to drive safely (or operate any machinery) following your injection. For all procedures you must bring all insurance cards and any current imaging of the area being treated. Failure to provide the any of the above may result in rescheduling your procedure.
Any co-pays or fees due at the time of service will be collected at the time of check-in – No exceptions.
What Should I Expect Upon Arrival?
Expect to be greeted by a warm welcome in a bright and peaceful environment. New patients will have your paperwork and other items collected and processed and will be asked to complete a pain diagram with a pain scale before a staff member will escort you to an examination room. Some examinations may require you to undress and change into a gown. A nurse and physician will conduct your examination and then review the recommended course of treatment with you.
Upon arrival for a procedure, you will be asked to complete a pain diagram with a pain scale before a staff member will escort you to a room where you will dress into a procedure gown. The clinical staff is there to ensure you are as comfortable as possible before and after the procedure. The medical staff will be in to explain the procedure to you. Clinical staff will take your vital signs, answer any questions you may have and provide other necessary monitoring before, during, and after the procedure. At this time an IV will be started if you will be receiving sedation medications.
When it is time for your procedure a clinical staff member will escort you from the holding room to the procedure suite. A radiology technologist will be there to assist the nurse in your care and to assist the doctor in operating the imaging equipment. The clinical staff will then explain what will take place in the procedure room and answer any other questions you may have. While lying down on the x-ray table in the procedure suite, you may be given IV medication. This is a sedative medication that will keep you feeling relaxed and drowsy.
The area to be injected will be thoroughly cleaned and then a sterile drape will be applied. Using the x-ray machine (fluoroscopy), the doctor will guide a very thin needle to the appropriate area. The x-ray machine allows the doctor to see exactly where the needle is going at all times. He will then instill a combination of solutions which may include a dye (to verify correct needle placement), an anesthetic (to decrease pain), and steroids (to decrease inflammation).
What Should I Expect Upon Departure?
Expect a warm and well-informed send-off. As a new patient you will be given any orders recommended by the physician as well as any additional handouts reviewed with you by the physician; these may include imaging orders, lab orders, or pre-operative instructions. The front desk staff will schedule any additional follow-up appointments or procedures depending on your circumstances.
Post-procedure patients may have some body weakness (which will depend on the site of the injection; generally arm weakness can be associated with neck injections and leg weakness with the back injections) for the next 3-4 hours following the procedure. You can expect soreness of the injection site for 2-4 days following the procedure. Your pain may go away immediately or it may take several days. This is due to the different medications used. The first medication (a local anesthetic) will only last from one 1-6 hours. Other medications that may be used (a combined short and long acting steroid) may not start working for 2-5 days after the injection(s).
If you are sore after your procedure, you should:
- Rest the area for the next several days unless otherwise instructed.
- Apply ice to the area that hurts, on for 20 minutes, then off for 30 minutes. Place a towel between the ice and your skin to prevent damage to the skin or underlying nerves. A bag of frozen vegetables works great for this.
- Take your usual pain medication. Ask the nurse or doctor for further information regarding your pain medication.