Dr. Ward is a South Georgia native raised in nearby Mitchell County. He attended Valdosta State College graduating with honors in Biology and Chemistry. Dr. Ward received his Doctor of Medicine Degree from the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, Georgia. His Internship and Residency in Anesthesiology was completed at Eugene Talmadge Memorial Hospital and University Hospital in Augusta. Dr. Ward had subspecialty training emphasis on regional anesthesia/pain managemet techniques. This subspecialty of Anesthesiology eventually became the recognized subspecialty of Pain Management with specialized training and certification in the late 1990's.
Caudal epidural steroid injections involve injecting a steroid into the epidural space, where the irritated nerve roots are located. The caudal injection is performed through the sacral opening and is used to treat low back pain. This injection includes both a long-lasting steroid and an anesthetic (lidocaine, bupivacaine). The steroid reduces inflammation and irritation, while the anesthetic interrupts the pain-spasm cycle and nociceptor transmission (Boswell 2007). The medicines spread to the most painful levels of the spine, reducing inflammation and irritation. The entire procedure usually takes less than 15 minutes.
In many cases, vertebral fractures can be treated through conservative methods such as bed rest, a back brace or pain medication. However, patients with osteoporosis or whose fractures have caused severe, long-term pain may benefit from a minimally invasive procedure such as vertebroplasty to relieve symptoms. This procedure is also recommended for patients who are too weak to undergo spinal surgery, or have a malignant tumor within the spine that has caused vertebral damage. Vertebroplasty is most effective when performed on fractures that are less than six months old.