PM&R Specialist and What do they do? Q &A with Dr. Gregory Powell
& Dr. Aine McKenzie both PM&R Specialist with OrthoTexas
What makes someone a good candidate to see a Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
physician and when should they see an orthopedist?
McKenzie: Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) physicians, also known
as physiatrists, treat a wide variety of disabling medical conditions
non-surgically. Most orthopedist are surgeons. If an individual has a
condition requiring surgery, then they should consult with an orthopedist.
What are some signs or symptoms that would make a patient a good candidate
for an EMG?
McKenzie: Electrodiagnostic testing, also known as EMG, is a test performed by a
PM&R physician in the office. This test is usually ordered when someone
is showing signs or symptoms of a muscle or nerve disorder. These signs
or symptoms may include pain, tingling, numbness or weakness of the extremities.
An EMG can help diagnose muscle disorders, nerve disorders and disorders
affecting the connection between nerves and muscles.
What is a rhizotomy?
Powell: A rhizotomy, also known as a radio frequency ablation, is often performed
in the spine for treatment of chronic pain from osteoarthritis or trauma.
This is a non-operative technique that involves the use of no medications
and can provide significant pain relief for certain conditions. This technique
is also being used for treatment of chronic knee pain in patients who
have failed to respond to surgery.
What is an ESI?
Powell: An epidural steroid injection, or ESI, is commonly performed in the neck
or low back for treatment of pain from a herniated disc or pinched nerve.
This treatment can provide significant pain relief to allow a patient
to avoid surgery and get back to activity. Recent research suggests that
80% of patients can demonstrate significant improvement in their pain
through this technique.
What ages do you treat and what is your goal when treating patients?
McKenzie & Powell: Physiatrists treat a diverse age range including children, adolescents
and adults. Our goal when treating patients is to provide a high-quality
non-operative diagnosis and treatment of painful musculoskeletal conditions
of the extremities or spine. We want to see our patients restore function
and maintain a good quality of life.
What are the advantages in your practice of working with a large group
of orthopedic surgeons?
Powell: One of the distinct advantages of practicing in a large group of orthopedic
surgeons is the wide variety of subspecialists that we have. OrthoTexas
has physicians who specialize in neck and spine, shoulder and elbow, hand
and wrist, hip and knees, foot and ankle, and sports medicine. This allows
patients to be seen for all conditions within the practice for an integrated