David R Walega

  • 389 Citations
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Personal profile

Research Interests

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.

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.

Certifications and Licenses

Pain Medicine

Training Experience

1997Residency, Northwestern University, McGaw Medical Center (Northwestern Memorial Hospital)
1998Fellowship, Northwestern University, McGaw Medical Center (Northwestern Memorial Hospital)

Education/Academic qualification

MD, Wayne State University

… → 1993

Research interests

  • Back / Spine
  • Cancer Survivorship
  • Menopause
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Pain
  • Pain Management
  • Regenerative Medicine
  • Sports Medicine
  • Stem Cells
  • Translational Research

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  • 7 Similar Profiles
Epidural Injections Medicine & Life Sciences
Pain Medicine & Life Sciences
Chronic Pain Medicine & Life Sciences
Knee Medicine & Life Sciences
Steroids Medicine & Life Sciences
Stellate Ganglion Medicine & Life Sciences
Fluoroscopy Medicine & Life Sciences
Knee Osteoarthritis Medicine & Life Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Grants 2009 2022

Research Output 2005 2020

Pre-TKR genicular nerve ablation

Walega, D., Mccormick, Z. & Avram, M., Jan 1 2020, In : Regional anesthesia and pain medicine. 45, 1, p. 91-92 2 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

Postoperative Pain
Chronic Pain

Low-Pressure Lumbar Provocation Discography According to Spine Intervention Society/International Association for the Study of Pain Standards Does Not Cause Acceleration of Disc Degeneration in Patients with Symptomatic Low Back Pain: A 7-Year Matched Cohort Study

McCormick, Z. L., Lehman, V. T., Plastaras, C. T., Walega, D. R., Huddleston, P., Moussallem, C., Geske, J. R., Verdoorn, J. T., Kennedy, D. J., Maus, T. P. & Carr, C. M., Oct 1 2019, In : Spine. 44, 19, p. E1161-E1168

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Intervertebral Disc Degeneration
Low Back Pain
Cohort Studies

Managing Patient Expectations Is Vital to Successful Pain Management

McCormick, Z. L. & Walega, D. R., Jul 1 2019, In : Pain medicine (Malden, Mass.). 20, 7, p. 1453-1454 2 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

2 Citations (Scopus)
Knee Replacement Arthroplasties
Postoperative Pain
Randomized Controlled Trials
Opioid Analgesics
2 Citations (Scopus)

Randomized prospective trial of cooled versus traditional radiofrequency ablation of the medial branch nerves for the treatment of lumbar facet joint pain

McCormick, Z. L., Choi, H., Reddy, R., Syed, R. H., Bhave, M., Kendall, M. C., Khan, D., Nagpal, G., Teramoto, M. & Walega, D. R., Mar 1 2019, In : Regional anesthesia and pain medicine. 44, 3, p. 389-397 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Zygapophyseal Joint
Nerve Block