New back pain treatments
RAPID CITY, S.D. — New treatment options have been introduced to the Black Hills region for the first time at Rapid City Medical Center in the Interventional Pain Management department.
Dr. Tyler Ptacek (pr. Tah-Check) joined Rapid City Medical Center in December of 2020. He genuinely enjoys getting to know his patients as individuals and then helping them through their pain related medical problems.
Dr. Ptacek describes his bed side manner as open and relaxed. He likes to start his treatment plan by first looking at the big picture while also focusing on what is important to the patient. He believes this approach is critically important in helping to determine proper treatment plans. Dr. Ptacek is experienced in several new to the area interventional pain therapies.
Dr. Tyler Ptacek, interventional pain specialist at Rapid City Medical Center, explains that there are many treatments available to patients who have not been able to alleviate their chronic back pain.
“One of the things I really focus on is that there is always a next step,” Dr. Ptacek says. “I’ve seen many patients already that have come in feeling hopeless. I explain multiple steps in detailed order, so my patients know that if the first thing doesn’t work, there is always a next step.”
Finding the right path to alleviate pain can be a difficult process, however. Dr. Ptacek walks his patients through a series of surveys that clearly outline how severe a patient’s pain is and how limiting it is in their day-to-day activities. These surveys act to keep both Dr. Ptacek and the patient accountable, clearly documenting how successful a treatment is. For chronic back pain, steroid injections are a common treatment that reduce inflammation and allow patients to make progress in physical therapy. However, these are commonly over prescribed and over utilized.
Dr. Ptacek is able to pinpoint the correct location with image guidance to confirm the needle is in the correct location for medicine to have a positive impact for the patient.
An often overlooked, but very effective treatment for severe pain is regenerative stem cells. Platelet rich plasma or bone marrow concentrate aspirate harness the body’s natural healing ability. Dr. Ptacek is able to use regenerative treatment in the neck, midback, lower back, sacroiliac joints and in the intervertebral discs.
A recent groundbreaking treatment for alleviating back pain is the Intracept procedure. Intracept is a permanent solution to back pain. This minimally invasive outpatient procedure was just recently FDA approved in January of 2019. It removes the sensory nerve within the vertebral body that causes mechanical back pain. Dr. Ptacek is currently the only physician in the state of South Dakota who has performed this procedure and has seen patients experience significant relief within one to two weeks.
Another treatment option that has seen a great advancement in technology and evidence is spinal cord stimulation. This treatment alleviates pain using a high-frequency stimulator that is implanted after successful one-week trial. It offers a medication free treatment with up to 80-100% pain relief that lasts for 10+ years.
Dr. Ptacek’s recent move to the Black Hills has allowed patients with formerly untreated pain the chance to find relief.
“I always try to put the patient’s best interest at the top of the list,” Dr. Ptacek says, “I try to treat every patient like they’re my family member. If they come back and their function and overall well-being has not improved, then we discuss the next reasonable alternative.”
Dr. Ptacek also serves as a Flight Surgeon among other duties in the United States Air Force. He and his wife Melanie have two boys and a daughter. Dr. Ptacek also enjoys traveling, hiking, snowboarding, and flying small aircraft.