Phil Castle, The Business Times
Dr. K.C. Lewis has a wide variety of tools and techniques at his disposal to relieve pain in his patients.
“If there’s anything that can be done with interventional pain, we do it,” said Lewis, an anesthesiologist who runs Western Rockies Interventional Pain Specialists in Fruita.
It’s not just the diversity of techniques, but also the quality, that helps Lewis achieve what he considers his primary goal for his patients: the greatest improvement possible in their lifestyles with the least invasive treatments.
The support of other physicians as well as physical therapists and psychologists with which Lewis works at an extensive outpatient procedure center operated by Family Health West also helps.
The combined efforts promote a secondary goal, which Lewis said is to offer the best pain management practice not only in Western Colorado, but also the United States.
Lewis has operated Western Rockies Interventional Pain Specialists for more than five years. While Lewis came to the Grand Valley to work as an operating room anesthesiologist, his shifted his practice to concentrate full-time on pain intervention.
The scope of the problem is substantial. By one estimate, 50 million to 75 million people in the United States suffer from acute or chronic pain and struggle to find relief. At the same time, though, advancing medical technology offers an increasing number of techniques to treat pain without invasive surgery or narcotics, Lewis said.
The process begins with a thorough review of a patient’s medical history and a physical examination as well as a careful consideration of what patients say and how they describe their conditions, Lewis said. That evaluation is refined as various diagnostic and treatment procedures are carried out.
Sometimes pinpoint injections can relieve pain. In other situations, a heated needle can be used to treat nerves and block pain, he said.
Lewis also offers a procedure involving the implantation of a spinal cord stimulator. Thin wires placed in the space above the spinal cord target areas of pain. Contacts at the ends of the wires send electrical impulses that mask pain messages traveling to the brain.
The device is tested at least twice on a patient to determine the best locations for contacts and the maximum pain relief before it’s implanted, he added.
Developed by Boston Scientific, the Precision Spectra implant is the best device of its kind in offering double the coverage of other implants and the flexibility to provide different types of pain relief in different situations at the touch of a button, Lewis said.
Working with other health care professionals at the Family Health West center, a variety of other pain relief therapies are available under one roof, Lewis said.
Those include the services of physiatrists, physical and occupational therapists and psychologists. When more invasive treatment is required, a neurosurgeon also operates a practice in the center. Offering so many services in one location offers not only convenience to patients, but also the ability to better coordinate and monitor care, Lewis added.
Family Health West offers even more convenience by offering free transportation to patients with appointments at its outpatient procedure center. That service extends to within a 100-mile radius.
Western Rockies Interventional Pain Specialists attracts patients from not only Western Colorado and Eastern Utah, but also Denver and Salt Lake City, Lewis said. That’s because the practice offers not only such a wide variety of techniques and procedures to diagnose and relieve pain, but also high-quality services, he said. “We work to make sure everything we do is top end.”
Western Rockies Interventional Pain Specialists operates offices at 551 Kokopelli Blvd in Fruita. For additional information, call 858-2562 or visit the website at www.westernrockiespainmanagement.com.