August 25, 2009
Methodist Spine & Joint physician uncovers root causes of painful, disabling conditions
By Susan Christensen
Health and Research News Service
During more than 25 years in rehabilitation medicine, Dr. Leon Grigoryev has seen treatment advances transform the lives of people with painful and disabling conditions.
But he still begins his search for solutions with an old-school strategy: He lends a discerning ear to each patient’s history of complaints.
“I pay attention to all the different aspects of pain – the physical, the psychological and the social,” Dr. Grigoryev says. “It’s important to figure out which factor is the prominent one.”
Dr. Grigoryev recently joined the staff of Methodist Spine & Joint Center, which is part of Methodist Rehabilitation Center’s extensive outpatient facilities in Flowood. There, he is part of a network of professionals who bring different strengths to the challenging science of pain management. The center’s services include medical management, physical and occupational therapy, interventional pain techniques and psychological counseling.
“I like the efficiency of having different specialists in one place and under one roof,” Dr. Grigoryev says. “Being able to communicate face to face about patient care is very helpful.”
Dr. Grigoryev is board certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation, a specialty that emphasizes non-surgical strategies to improve mobility and function following an injury or illness. He did his residency at New York University and the Rusk Institute for Rehabilitation Medicine. He also underwent fellowship training at the University of Michigan and was most recently medical director of Danville Regional Health System in Virginia.
“When you first meet Dr. Grigoryev, you immediately sense the medical expertise he has developed over the years in the field of physical medicine,” says Mark Adams, chief executive officer at Methodist Rehab. “But, when you get together with Leon and his wife Patty, who is a psychologist with an expertise in pain management, you realize just how much they both care for the people that come to them for help.”
Dr. Grigoryev uses a variety of diagnostic tools to uncover the causes of a patient’s pain, including a thorough history and physical, blood work and imaging studies such as X-rays, MRIs and bone scans.
Sometimes, a simple shot is all it takes to soothe achy joints or inflamed tendons. “When a patient has bursitis, tendinitis or arthritis, it’s possible to quickly relieve pain by injecting cortisone into the painful area,” he says. “I also can perform trigger point injections for myofascial pain syndrome.
When more invasive procedures are necessary, Dr. Grigoryev is aided by the expertise of Dr. Bruce Hirshman, D.O., who is just down the hall at Methodist Pain Management Center. Dr. Hirshman is board certified in anesthesiology, pain management and osteopathic manipulation.
“When it’s obviously indicated, I wouldn’t hesitate to refer patients for procedures such as epidural nerve blocks,” says Dr. Grigoryev.
Although new to Mississippi, Dr. Grigoryev is finding familiar conditions amid his current caseload. “I’m mostly seeing patients with chronic back and neck pain, fibromyalgia and arthritis. We also see people who didn’t respond well to previous treatments and are in need of more comprehensive care.”
The state’s high rate of diabetes means Dr. Grigoryev also can expect an influx of patients with diabetes-related nerve pain. And he’s happy to report that current treatments are proving more effective than ever. “Treating diabetes-related nerve pain can be quite gratifying because a number of patients respond to pharmacological agents that have recently become available,” he says.
Methodist Spine & Joint Center in Flowood provides prompt evaluations and timely treatment to help people recover from neck, shoulder and back pain, joint pain and arthritis, sprains and strains, carpal tunnel syndrome, sports-related injuries, complex regional pain syndrome, fibromyalgia and nerve pain. For an appointment, call 601-936-8801.