Dr. Ajay Antony is an interventional pain physician who joins The Orthopedic Institute after 4 years as faculty at the University of Florida. He earned his bachelor of science at the University of Florida and earned his medical degree at St. George University School of Medicine. He went on to complete his anesthesiology residency and pain medicine fellowship training at UF. During his residency, he served as Chief Resident, was awarded the Michael E. Mahla Outstanding Resident of the Year Award, Best Resident for Outstanding Dedication and Service to the Department, and Outstanding Resident Teacher Award. After joining the faculty at UF, Dr. Antony served to grow the fellowship program to national recognition, brought several new procedures to the North Central Florida community, and continues to be a recognized leader in his specialty. He also participates in cutting edge research to advance the field of interventional pain medicine.
Dr. Antony is a member of many professional academic societies such as the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, the North American Neuromodulation Society (NANS), and the International Neuromodulation Society (INS). He has lectured both nationally and internationally on neuromodulation, minimally invasive spine procedures, and other topics in pain medicine. Dr. Antony teaches national training courses for fellows and practicing physicians on both spinal cord stimulation (SCS), dorsal root ganglion (DRG) stimulation, and minimally invasive advanced procedures for spinal stenosis. His clinical practice and research focuses on neuromodulation and minimally invasive advanced treatments for pain.
My clinical practice focuses on evaluating, diagnosing, and treating individuals suffering from chronic pain in an effort to alleviate pain and improve their function. This may include directing a patient to the appropriate conservative measures such as low dose non-opioid medications, physical therapy or lifestyle modifications. It also usually involves combining a procedure to facilitate this goal. Procedures, which are performed under fluoroscopy, can be either diagnostic in order to pinpoint the anatomical structure causing pain, or therapeutic, in hopes of providing durable relief. This also often involves close partnerships with surgeons, to direct patients for surgical evaluation or offer alternatives if surgery is not a good option.
The majority of my practice focuses on spine along with several specialized options for chronic post-surgical pain. Common injection-type procedures include epidural injections, large joint injections, cervical and lumbar radiofrequency ablations, and genicular nerve ablations for knee pain.
At least 30% of my practice has a unique focus on minimally invasive advanced surgical procedures. The field of interventional pain is evolving at an incredibly rapid pace and technology is being used to produce alternatives to largely ineffective traditional options such as opioids. These minimally invasive procedures usually require a specialized training and are done mostly in the ASC, which I will likely be at one day per week. These include 3 big categories of procedures, which are described in more detail below (Spinal Cord Stimulation, Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation, and Vertiflex Superion Interspinous Spacer for spinal stenosis). These procedures have generated referrals from the surrounding North Central Florida region either due to the fact that I am the only one offering these procedures, or the fact that I do a high volume of them and have a great deal of experience.
SPINAL CORD STIMULATION
Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) can be thought of similar to "a pacemaker for pain." Epidural leads or wires are placed in the spine and connected to a battery or IPG that delivers very low dose electrical energy. New technology in the past 5 years has allowed more patients to be treated with a higher degree of pain relief. No longer is this thought of as a "last resort" option. The most common indications are chronic pain after back surgery or neck surgery. The best part of this therapy is the fact that there is a trial, or a test run of the device for patients. This involves a simple injection type procedure without incisions, with the battery kept outside the patients' body for a week, so they can experience exactly the type of relief they would have with the device. If they receive significant relief, they come back for a minimally invasive outpatient surgery several weeks after the temporary system is removed in order to implant the device. SCS is a safe, minimally invasive, reversible option for many patients.
DORSAL ROOT GANGLION STIMULATION
Dorsal root ganglion stimulation (DRG) is a specialized form of spinal cord stimulation that has been available in the United States since 2016. It targets a different structure in the spine (the DRG) that allows us to treat pain confined to a focused area, such as the groin, knee, or foot. For chronic post-surgical joint pain, this is the gold standard treatment for severe painful conditions. This procedure requires a specialized training/certification.
VERTIFLEX SUPERION INTERSPINOUS SPACER
This procedure is a small implantable device that sits between the spinous processes in the spine to treat spinal stenosis delivered through a 1 inch incision. The goal of this therapy is to relieve pain but more so to allow patients to stand and walk more effectively. It fills the gap in the spectrum of care between epidural steroid injections and open surgical procedures. The procedure is relatively new and is only performed by a few doctors in the northern half of Florida.