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CCMH Outpatient Clinic Continues to Grow with New Specialty

November 23, 2016

Dr. Dennison Hamilton & Trek, his service dog

CARROLLTON, Mo. -- Carroll County Memorial Hospital is proud to announce that is has expanded its Outpatient Clinic to including a new specialty, Interventional Pain Management.

Dr. Dennison R. Hamilton MD, MPH, joined our team and started offering clinic Friday, July 15, in Interventional Pain Management, which is a totally new clinic to CCMH. Hamilton is a Board Certified Orthopedic and Interventional Pain Management physician with his Doctor of Medicine for the University of Kansas School of Medicine.

For most people, surgery is not the first or only option—and many patients don’t want to assume the risks, recovery time or costs that come with the operating table. When appropriate, minimally invasive techniques, or interventional pain management, can restore function, manage pain and prepare them for other therapies or even avoid surgery altogether. Interventional pain management can help reduce pain and swelling enough so patients can undergo physical therapy. 

“By using a variety of medications and/or injection procedures to identify and help control pain, direct treatment can be recommended,” said Tim Braun, RN, CCMH Assistant Administrator. “The goal is to get patients back where they want to be, without pain.”

Using state-of-the-art diagnostics, the interventional pain management physician identifies the causes of pain and tailors a personalized treatment plan to relieve the patient of back and neck pain, joint pain, including hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder pain, knee pain and injury, foot, ankle and hip pain, disc bulges, protrusions and extrusions, as well as back and neck pain that failed to respond to surgery.

The interventional pain management physician works closely with referring physicians, neurosurgeons, orthopedic spine surgeons, chiropractors and other health care providers to manage pain, increase mobility and improve health.

“Most of us either struggle with managing pain or know somebody who does on a daily basis,” said Jeff Tindle, CCMH CEO. “This Clinic will be a real game-changer for them.  We have not had this type of service in the past and our patients have had to drive long distances to get relief.  We are so happy for them to now be able to get that relief close to home.”

Some times the right treatment may be surgery. To assist Hamilton in this step, he bring in a very special tool—a therapy dog.

Trek, a 5-year-old Weimaraner, was originally trained as a mobility dog. He was matched with a person who has rheumatoid arthritis, had back surgery and trouble ambulating. So he was federally trained as a service animal.

Trek has always been Dr. Hamilton’s dog, but he was trained for service. He spent three months in training to learn to be obedient. Number one thing is the animal has to be calm. Then they have to mind, so learning the importance of sit, stay, lay, no barking and no chasing other animals.

“I use him more now as a comfort animal so before I operate on someone or see them in the clinic, he calms people down,” Dr. Hamilton said.

Most service animals cannot be touched while they are working, but since Dr. Hamilton uses Trek for comfort, “I want people to be able to touch him because that does calm them down.”

Trek has been working by Dr. Hamilton’s side for the last two years.

Although it isn’t very common to use therapy animals in interventional pain management, Dr. Hamilton really believes it helps his patients.

“I always ask before I take him in a patient’s room if they like dogs,”Dr. Hamilton said. “Once and a while I’ll have a patient tell me that they don’t or they’re allergic to a dog or something like that, but no one has ever complained at him. I’m very careful about who he is around.”

When Trek isn’t helping patients, he’s quite the accomplished animal. He is a three-time hunting champion with the North America Weimaraner Association, North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association and American Kennel Club.