Putting off care can lead to a lot of complications
Wednesday, December 23, 2020

If you’ve been putting off medical care not related to COVID-19, public health advocates are asking you to reconsider. This could be leading to more of us trying to manage our own pain.

The CDC is warning of a dangerous trend this year. We’re seeing record highs when it comes to overdose deaths. Many addictions to opioids and other substances start innocently, they say. Providers at OrthoCincy remind us that putting off pain can lead to a lot of complications.

“It was such a relief, such a relief,” said Bob Schulenberg, a patient at OrthoCincy.

When he first had back surgery about a year ago, his pain went away.

“It was in the lower back,” added Schulenberg. “It starts in the lower back, and then it starts working into the legs.”

Recently, he developed a second problem. Rather than continuing to survive on pain medication, he came into OrthoCincy to see a doctor and get the problem fixed.

“In his particular case, he has a cyst that has developed and started to press on his nerves,” said Dr. William McClellan, an orthopedic spine surgeon at OrthoCincy.

Dr. McClellan said Schulenberg may need to return to the operating room, or he may be able to treat it more conservatively. Without either of these, that pain is likely to escalate.

“Conservative treatment is oral medications, anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy. Sometimes steroid injections help calm down the inflammation in the spine. Sometimes that can cue the problem and you never need surgery, but sometimes we keep surgery as a last resort.”

Now one quick reminder: OrthoCincy has an orthopedic urgent care. If you wind up needed help in these next few weeks over the holidays, that may be a better alternative than needing an emergency room right now.

The team sees all kinds of injuries from slips, falls and broken bones.