FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT ARE BIOLOGICS?
Biologics or biopharmaceuticals are a highly-effective class of medicines that are based on naturally occurring proteins and produced using living cells.
Our Biologics are manufactured from highly refined natural substances, found in the human body using state-of-the-art biotechnology manufacturing techniques with high quality standards.
The Discseel™ procedure is comprised of highly purified and exact parts of fibrinogen, prothrombin, the two essential blood proteins involved in the formation of a disc healing. We also introduce an antibiotic into the disc to eliminate infection risk.
Any person with long lasting low back pain is a potential candidate. A person with low back pain who’s had surgery or a person with low back pain who prefers to avoid surgery is a potential candidate, because the cushion in the back known as the disc is the most common cause of low back pain.
While a specific amount can’t be given until the doctor evaluates your case, Discseel™ generally costs less than 25% of what a spinal fusion would cost.
Pauza Discseel™ is not currently covered by insurance.
That’s okay and is a situation that many of our patients are in. They’ve had prior surgery, they’ve had fusions, and they’ve had metal inserted into their backs. That’s what we work with, and our goal is to help you have a pain free life.
The cushions in the low back are called discs, and the disc is the most common cause of low back pain. We know that the discs can be injured, degenerated, bulged, and herniated. These conditions need to be corrected, and the best way to correct them is to correct them naturally – not to add hardware, plates, rods, or screws. In the long term, these do not help the patient.
PAUZA BIOLOGIC TREATMENT
Discseel™ is a procedure in which Dr. Pauza takes naturally occurring biologics from the body, designed to heal cuts, tears and lesions, and introduces them into damaged spinal discs. The biologic stays in your disc and becomes a part of the disc, and then it gets replaced by regenerated normal disc tissue. The biologic treatment repairs damaged discs, returning them to a healthy state, allowing your body to heal itself over the next 12 months.
Ice will usually be more helpful than heat in the first few days. Take your regular pain medicine and any other prescription medicine, as prescribed.
Although exceedingly rare, if you develop fever or chills with increased spine pain, contact our office or go to the hospital Emergency Room.
The government is now using it to study battlefield wounds, wounds that can’t be sutured because of explosions. They’re making it so that the biologic can be sprayed or smeared on the human body and cause the damaged tissue to re-grow. The biologic used in Pauza Discseel™ is FDA approved to seal the spinal cord and brain dura (covering). All other uses are FDA off-label uses that are commonly employed in the medical field.
This is an outpatient procedure, and patients go to the recovery room immediately following the procedure for one hour. You will likely need a few days to rest, however, we want you up and walking around the day following your procedure. After the first few days, when you are feeling up to it, we want you to begin a daily regimen of walking, gradually building up your walking distance every few weeks. Most people need prescription pain medication for the first few weeks. Everyone is different and it typically depends on the patient’s pain threshold. Most people see a change within 3 – 12 months after the Discseel™ procedure, and some are sooner than that. The Discseel™ Cervical procedure tends to have a quicker recovery time than the lumbar procedure. Most people are back at work the week after their procedure. It is normal to experience increased symptoms after your procedure and then go through a period of time where the pain waxes and wanes for several months. The main thing to remember following your procedure is to avoid two movements: flexion (forward bending) and rotation (twisting). Flexion is a compressive force and rotation is a shear force, both of which damage and tear discs. Many people ask, “How long do I have to avoid those movements?” We encourage all patients to avoid these movements as a lifestyle because we know these are the two forces that damage and tear discs. Many patients find it helpful to work with a physical therapist for a short period of time following the procedure to learn new body mechanics in effort to avoid those movements that cause wear and tear on the discs.
It can take 3 – 12 months for the disc to be restored to a fully healthy state. Beginning the day of your procedure, your discs will begin the healing process. Most patients experience increased symptoms following the procedure for several weeks and do not notice significant change from their usual pain for several months. Occasionally some notice a quick diiference, but that is the exception, not the norm.
Dr. Pauza wants you to eat well and be active in smart ways. He wants you yo avoid bending and twisting because we know those are the two movements that damage discs. Immediately following the procedure, as with any spine procedure or surgery, for the first 12-24 hours watch for a fever of 101.5 or greater, incontinence of the bladder and bowel, or rapidly progressing weakness of the legs. We have never had anyone need to come back and be seen by Dr Pauza immediately following the procedure because of these symptoms. Most patients experience muscle spasms, low back pressure, and occasionally increased symptoms in their extremities. These are are considered “normal” for post-op symptoms and can last for several weeks after the procedure.
We will work with your prescriptions and provide pain medications immediately following your procedure. If you are an out of state patient, because of pharmacy regulations, we ask that you follow up with a pain management doctor in your hometown before your prescription runs out if you need to continue meds to manage your pain.
Many patients want to return to their previous level of activities as soon as possible. We encourage all patients to walk for the first 4-6 weeks following their procedure. Once you are feeling better, you may add in an activity you once enjoyed doing, but only at a 10% level. Using a common sense approach, if you feel okay at a 10% level, stay at that level for a brief period of time and slowly add more in, judging it by how you feel. If you notice an increased level of pain the next day, back off from it and listen to your body. Always remember, Dr Pauza wants you to avoid flexion and rotation as a lifestyle because those two movements damage the discs.
SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT
Our staff will assist you in any way necessary. Hotels are available nearby for family members during your stay.
Dr. Pauza sees the majority of his patients at The Texas Spine and Joint Hospital in Tyler, Texas.