non surgical orthopedistDr. Hector L. LopezMD, CSCS, FAAPMRWith advanced training and experience in the fields of musculoskeletal medicine, physical therapy, and nutrition, Dr. Hector Lopez integrates several safe and non-invasive approaches including joint injections to optimize patient recovery and improve overall health. His research experience and expertise in performing spinal procedures help patients return to daily life.

  • Conference Appearances and Presentations

    September 18, 2013: "The Science and Safety of Stimulant Dietary Supplements" - Council for Responsible Nutrition, Park City, UT

    April 25-26, 2014Presentation Title coming soon! Europa-ISSN University, Orlando, FL

Minimally Invasive Spine Procedures and Joint Injections

Dr. Lopez and his partners have an expertise in utilizing various spinal procedures and minimally invasive interventional methods including joint injections in order to decrease pain and full function and intense recovery from spinal injury. Neck pain, mid back pain, and low back pain with what patients typically describe as "sciatica" are incredibly prevalent in the population. Injuries to these areas are known to interfere with routine daily activity at work and the home, as well as interfering with recreational routine. Dr. Lopez understands the value and role of the judicious use of minimally invasive spinal interventions as yet another tool in his armamentarium to restore and maximize patients' function and quality of life. Such procedures include:

Oftentimes patients are presented with spinal injection and procedure options in isolation or in conjunction with simple medications. However, it is evident that this approach is limited in terms of the amount and extent of pain relief as well as long-term improvement of the underlying condition causing back pains.

Why Dr. Lopez?

Dr. Lopez knows that there are certain key elements to look for when considering a joint injection or minimally invasive spine intervention such as an epidural, facet injection, disc procedure, or neurostimulator implantation. These key elements include:

  1. A mastery of fluoroscopic, spinal, and musculoskeletal anatomy;
  2. Expertise in the required dexterity for appropriate depth perception, tissue sense, and minimizing the patient's discomfort during the injection or procedure;
  3. The use of high-quality equipment, injection material, and injectable medication;
  4. Ability to fully integrate the procedure or intervention with other nonsurgical tools including therapeutic exercise, manual therapy, chiropractic care, nutritional medicine, and medication management, which requires a substantial level of expertise across multiple disciplines.



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Transforaminal Epidural Injection/Selective Spinal Nerve Injection

This procedure is a type of epidural injection which involves a very specific approach in an effort to deliver well-placed medication closer to the area of tissue injury or pathology. It is commonplace for patients to receive nonselective interlaminar epidural injections, which are known to be less specific and deliver less medication at the area of pathology. Although an interlaminar epidural had still been shown to be effective in many circumstances, the general consensus amongst minimally invasive interventional pain management specialists is that patient outcomes are in fact better with the transforaminal approach (TFESI). Dr. Lopez and his colleagues utilize the transforaminal approach in most cases, as there is growing body of scientific and empirical evidence showing improved patient results. 

Facet Joint (Zygapophyseal Joint) Procedure

The two most common procedures for patients afflicted with facet syndrome include an intra-articular or medial branch block and radiofrequency ablation. The former is often utilized initially as a diagnostic/therapeutic tool to directly confirm the cause of a patient's neck or back pain. If the patient has a positive response to this injection, a more longstanding solution involves the use of high-energy, high-frequency technology in order to prevent painful signals from continuing to cause pain from the facet/zygapophyseal joints. These joints can become inflamed, irritated, and arthritic from acute or chronic conditions of the spine. Dr. Lopez and his partners have managed to very effectively treat these conditions with their comprehensive care programs. 

Sacroiliac Joint Procedures/Injections

The sacroiliac joint is an often under-recognized but quite common source of buttock and low back with occasional groin pain. The sacroiliac joint can be effectively treated under fluoroscopic live imaging to appropriately place anti-inflammatory medication into and around the sacroiliac joint. This can be combined with other regenerative and restorative methods including corrective exercise, manual medicine, and nutritional strategies. 

Percutaneous Disc Decompression for Herniated Disc

If a patient only partially responds to transforaminal epidural injections in combination with physical therapy, chiropractic care, rehabilitation, and nutritional strategies, percutaneous disc decompression using a mechanical order through minimally invasive access to the intervertebral disc provides patients with a nonsurgical minimally invasive option for effectively treating and managing herniated disc syndromes. This procedure allows Dr. Lopez and his partners to effectively decompress an intervertebral disc and remove pressure off of a spinal nerve or nerve root allowing the patient to more effectively participate in rehabilitation and get the patient back to his or her activities with less downtime and less risk than may be involved in a more aggressive surgical treatment.