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RVMC Offers Non-Surgical Pain Management

Starting in April, Ruby Valley residents will no longer need to travel far from home to receive non-surgical pain management treatments! The Ruby Valley Medical Center welcomes Scott Rigdon, CRNA (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist) to its staff of healthcare providers. Scott will be performing a variety of pain management treatments at the Medical Center twice a month starting April 3rd.

The treatments Scott will provide for pain management include epidural corticosteroid injections, radio frequency ablation and nerve testing. Epidural corticosteroid injections deliver pain medication to the epidural areas of the spine which reduces inflammation and expands nerve passages to diminish difficult-to-treat arm or leg pain. Radio frequency ablation involves heating a pain producing nerve which reduces the pain signals. The procedure is used for chronic low-back and neck pain and pain related to the degeneration of joints from arthritis. The procedure is repeatable and pain relief usually lasts about a year. Nerve testing is done to determine which nerve is causing pain. Once the nerve is identified, the primary healthcare provider will work with Scott and other healthcare professionals, such as a chiropractor, physical, occupational or massage therapist, to develop a plan to reduce pain. “Pain is often related to a combination of issues and a coordinated effort is necessary,” said Scott.

Scott works with many of the surgeons in Southwest Montana and is also affiliated with Deer Lodge Medical Center, Community Hospital of Anaconda and St. James Healthcare. Often, Scott’s patients are on a surgical path and his job is to “keep them comfortable or further identify the area of pain.”

Procedures for pain management sometimes require an ultrasound but more often a C-arm is used which Scott describes as “an x-ray that lets you see all the structures under the skin - spine, hips, knees and shoulders.” Unlike a traditional x-ray machine, the C-arm can easily be moved to the area that needs examination. The C-arm enables precise insertion of the needles for injections and testing. Dr. Hendrickson, Medical Director at the Ruby Valley Medical Center, started working with Scott in 2018, planning for the purchase of the C-arm. According to Dr. Hendrickson, “The limiting factor was availability of C-arms.” Funding for the purchase was completed in 2019 through generous donations to the Ruby Valley Healthcare Foundation. The equipment was purchased in January, 2020. “The C-arm is primarily used for people who have neck and spine related pain but it will also be used to facilitate injections into other painful areas of the body,” said Hendrickson. Dr. Hendrickson is very pleased that Scott will be joining the team. While all of the healthcare providers at Ruby Valley Medical Center provide pain management, Hendrickson says that Scott joins a specialty team directed at pain alleviation. The other members of this team are Kathy Meyer, D.C. (chiropractic), and Molly Biehl, D.O. (osteopathic manipulation). “We now have full program to address pain issues for the patients at Ruby Valley Medical Center,” said Hendrickson.

In addition to earning his Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist credentials, Scott has a Masters of Public Health and a Masters of Science in Nursing. He studied to be a registered nurse at Mount Hood Community College in Oregon and has a Bachelor of Science degree in bio-chemistry. Scott has a doctoral degree in nurse anesthesia practices from Midwestern University in Glendale, Arizona. In 2018, Scott was awarded the nationally recognized Alice Magaw Outstanding Clinical Anesthesia Practitioner Award.

When he’s not busy mitigating pain, Scott is helping other practitioners improve their skills. He owns CE2, also known as Constantly Evolving Cutting Edge Continuing Education, which provides seminars and on-line continuing education courses specializing in anesthesia, opiate reduction strategies and interventional pain management. Scott provides consulting to credentialing committees and national boards to optimize board certifications for anesthesia and non-surgical pain management professionals as well as determining clinical competence and proficiency standards. He advises political committees on legislative issues and is adjunct faculty at the Glendale, Arizona campus of Midwestern University.

Originally from Oregon, Scott revels in the Montana lifestyle. “In most places, production is the name of the game. Here in Montana, everyone is lifestyle driven.” He enjoys mountain biking after work, fishing on the weekend and skiing in the winter. Scott lives in Bozeman with his wife and three school-age children.

If you would like to arrange an appointment for treatment with Scott, please call Ruby Valley Medical Center at (406) 842-5453.

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