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
My research interests include non-surgical methods of treating knee pain from osteoarthritis, namely, with nerve ablation procedures and regenerative trea...[Read full text]Chronic pain has negative effects in every domain of life. Treating pain before it becomes chronic is critical. My interests in the management of pain symptoms vary 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, and to avoid the long term use of opioids with the ultimate goal of improving patient function and quality of life. Treatments include image-guided steroid injections, radiofrequency ablation procedures of the spinal facets and sacroiliac joints, spinal cord stimulation, and now, dorsal root ganglion 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. and is 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. Men with prostate cancer who are on androgen deprivation therapy also suffer from this side effect of treatment. This is an active area of research in my practice, including research funded by the National Institute on Aging.[Shorten text]
Treatment of knee pain from osteoarthritis and pain follo...[Read full text]Treatment of degenerative spine disorders including facet arthropathy, sacroiliac joint pain, chronic pain after spine surgery, knee pain from osteoarthritis, non-opioid management of chronic pain, with advanced interventions: radiofrequency ablation, chemical neurolysis, spinal cord stimulation, dorsal root ganglion (DRG) stimulation and regenerative treatments (platelet rich plasma, stem cell injections, amniotic stem cell injections).
Treatment of knee pain from osteoarthritis and pain following joint replacement surgery.[Shorten text]
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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
NMH/259 E Erie, Room 1400
Chicago IL 60611