Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Faculty Profiles
David R Walega, MD

David R Walega, MD

Vice Chair for Research, Department of Anesthesiology
Chief of Pain Medicine in the Department of Anesthesiology

Associate Professor of Anesthesiology

Focus of Work

Academic Focus

Chronic pain has negative effects in every domain of our lives. Treating pain before it becomes chronic is critical. My interests in the management of pain symptoms varies greatly, as there is an incredible amount of new technology emerging now that improves patient outcomes, limits disability, and when introduced appropriately, is cost effective.

My research interests include non-surgical methods of treating knee pain from osteoarthritis, namely, with nerve ablation procedures and regenerati...[Read full text]
Chronic pain has negative effects in every domain of our lives. Treating pain before it becomes chronic is critical. My interests in the management of pain symptoms varies greatly, as there is an incredible amount of new technology emerging now that improves patient outcomes, limits disability, and when introduced appropriately, is cost effective.

My research interests include non-surgical methods of treating knee pain from osteoarthritis, namely, with nerve ablation procedures and regenerative treatments like stem cell injections and autologous platelet rich plasma. Chronic low back pain is another major clinical interest, for which we have a variety of evidence based treatments to improve pain, avoid the long term use of opioids, and improve function and quality of life. Treatments include image-guided steroid injections, radiofrequency ablation procedures of the facets and sacroiliac joints, and spinal cord stimulation. In addition, cancer survivorship issues, like chronic nerve pain and side effects from cancer treatments (surgery, chemotherapy, radiation treatment, hormone treatments like tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors) encompasses a huge population in the U.S. of great interest to me. Vasomotor symptoms (commonly known as hot flashes) have a tremendous negative effect on women with natural or surgical menopause, those patients on tamoxifen or other aromotase inhibitors and men with prostate cancer on anti-testosterone therapy. This is an active area of research in my practice, including research funded by the National Institute on Aging.[Shorten text]

Clinical Focus

Treatment of degenerative spine disorders including facet arthropathy, sacroiliac joint pain, chronic pain after spine surgery, non-opioid management of chronic pain, with advanced interventions: radiofrequency ablation, chemical neurolysis, spinal cord stimulation, and regenerative medicine. Treatment of knee pain from osteoarthritis and pain following joint replacement surgery.

Keywords


Education and Certification

  • MD: Wayne State University (1993)
  • Residency: Northwestern University, McGaw Medical Center (Northwestern Memorial Hospital) (1997)
  • Fellowship: Northwestern University, McGaw Medical Center (Northwestern Memorial Hospital) (1998)
  • Board Certification: Anesthesiology, Pain Medicine

Contact

312-695-2500
312-926-2280

NMH/259 E Erie, Room 1400
Chicago IL 60611