Tag Archives: SCS


Azeem lab coat half

Over the past couple weeks we’ve met the more personal sides of Dr Michael Gordon and Dr Paul Lento.  Next to answer our questions is Nomen Azeem, MD, an Interventional Pain Management physician here at SOA.

What inspired you to become a physician?

I have always felt that providing care to improve a person’s health or to save a person’s life is not just a noble occupation but also carries a great responsibility to provide comfort and assurance to people in many times their most vulnerable moments.

Why Interventional Pain Management?

The debilitating effects of chronic pain physically, mentally, and psychosocially are many times overlooked or discounted. I believe that Interventional Pain Medicine is one of the most rewarding fields in medicine because in addition to providing treatment for chronic pain patients, you provide hope that can really impact their lives.

What do you love most about your job?

I love the candid moments of elation that I witness in patients that have received significant pain relief following an Interventional Pain Procedure.

What is your biggest challenge?

Convincing some patients that there are options to treat pain that are safer and more effective than opioid pain medications.

If I weren’t an orthopedic physician I’d be a __________________.

I’d be an entrepreneur.

Your proudest moment?

It’s a tie between, my wedding day, the birth of my first child, and the birth of my second child.

Where is the most interesting place you’ve travelled?  Why?

My wife and I traveled to Istanbul, Turkey for our first international trip after being married and it was amazing! The mesh of cultures from Europe, Asia, and the Middle East was astounding. I would highly recommend Istanbul as a top travel destination.

Any hobbies?  Activities?

I love to spend time with my family. Beyond that, anything athletic or working out helps to pass the time.

What’s your next adventure?

An international trip with the kids.

Your guilty pleasure food?

Anything with a staple ingredient being coconut.

Dr Nomen Azeem is Fellowship Trained and Double Board Certified in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (PM&R) and Pain Management”. You may read his medical biography by visiting our website here. To make an appointment with Dr Azeem, call 941-951-2663. Sarasota Orthopedic Associates has 13 physicians across 4 locations (Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, Venice, and Bradenton) and we offer same day appointments when needed. Our commitment is to get our patients back on their feet, back to work, back in the game, and back to life.


The following is a repost from: St. Jude Medical PULSE Blog: Neuro Regional MD – NanostimTM Leadless Pacemaker/SCS

For many people, traditional treatments don’t address chronic pain – a condition that impacts as many as 100 million Americans. Nomen Azeem, MD, Interventional Pain Management physician at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates, provides insights on how he helps patients find relief through technological advances in spinal cord stimulation.

chronic pain

Despite the large number of people who battle chronic pain, many remain unaware of the treatment options available to patients once physical therapy, chiropractic care, over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications have reached their limit. This results in many patients simply suffering in silence, unsure where to turn for meaningful relief from their pain.

National Pain Awareness Month is designed to help shed light on the problem, and raise awareness of potential therapies available to patients battling chronic pain.

The numbers may surprise you, but chronic pain affects an estimated 100 million Americans, more than heart disease, cancer and diabetes combined. The condition can negatively impact personal relationships, daily routine and work productivity. Often, someone is determined to be suffering from chronic pain if their pain lasts for three to six months.

For many patients, the road to effective management of their chronic pain can be complex and can include prescription medications, over-the-counter products, lifestyle modifications and physical therapy. But when those options have been exhausted and the pain continues, many people aren’t sure where to turn.

Nomen Azeem, M.D., is a pain specialist with Sarasota Orthopedic Associates in Sarasota, FL. Every day, he treats people with chronic pain and helps them find relief based on their individual clinical needs. According to Dr. Azeem, spinal cord stimulation (SCS) and therapies such as radiofrequency ablation (RFA) can offer some patients meaningful pain relief, but some patients arrive to his clinic unaware that these options exist.

A renowned SCS expert, Dr. Azeem was the first doctor in Florida to implant the St. Jude Medical Protégé MRITM chronic pain system, and has a great deal of experience with SCS therapy and the technology behind the treatment. Dr. Azeem recently shared his insights on the use of neurostimulation to treat chronic pain.


What is neurostimulation?

Azeem: Neurostimulation, also known as spinal cord stimulation (SCS), is an advanced therapy option used to manage intractable chronic pain in the arms, legs and trunk, and pain caused by failed back surgery.

What is a spinal cord stimulator and how does it work?

Azeem: An SCS system involves a small device (approximately the size of a silver dollar) along the spinal cord that emits low intensity electrical pulses that intercept the body’s pain signals before they reach the brain, replacing feelings of pain with a more pleasant tingling sensation.

What new technology is available for patients considering an SCS implant?

Azeem: Earlier this year, the FDA approved the St. Jude Medical Protégé MRI™ chronic pain system, which is an important advancement for physicians because it allows people with chronic pain to remain eligible for MRIs of their head and extremities if required by their physician. The technology is also upgradeable, which means that as new therapies or software upgrades are approved, patients can access those upgrades through software updates and not repeat surgical procedures.

What do you want people to know about SCS and how it can help them?

Azeem: Spinal cord stimulation is an important option for patients who have not been able to alleviate their chronic pain through traditional methods, such as back surgery or prescription medications. Studies have shown SCS can reduce pain by 50 percent or more for many patients, and patients have the option to try a temporary implant to see if they’re comfortable with the therapy.1

 Note: Patients interested in learning more about SCS therapy and the Protégé MRI chronic pain system should visit www.poweroveryourpain.com for more information or to find a chronic pain physician in their area.

 The implantation of a neurostimulation system can involve risk, such as painful stimulation, loss of pain relief and surgical risks (e.g., paralysis). Patients are encouraged to talk to a physician to determine if SCS therapy is right for them.

For an appointment with Dr Azeem at any of our three locations, (Sarasota/Lakewood Ranch/Venice) please call 941.951.2663.  We offer same day appointments when necessary. The commitment of Sarasota Orthopedic Associates is to get our patients back on their feet, back to work, back in the game, and back to life.


CHRONIC PAIN: A new innovative, minimally invasive treatment


Chronic pain is a largely under-treated and misunderstood disease that affects more than 1.5 billion people worldwide according to the American Academy of Pain Medicine. Sarasota Orthopedic Associates offer an alternative solution that has proven to be quite successful for many of its patients:  spinal cord stimulation (SCS) which was approved by the FDA in 1998. In a 2009 study published in the Journal of Clinical Monitoring and Computing, researchers noted that SCS is “effective in reducing intensity, duration and frequency of pain experienced by the patient.”

SCS is for those who have endured chronic pain in the neck, back, arms or legs, neuropathic pain (burning, tingling or numbing sensations), or inadequate surgeries.  Think of it as analgesia “on demand,” though the patient must go through a broad prescreen before the trial can be done.


The SCS system consists of a pulse generator with remote controls, implanted to stimulate electrodes and conducting wires, known as “leads”, connecting the electrodes to the generator, similar to a pacemaker. To qualify for permanent implantation, a patient must undergo a trial period of about a week. During this time, a temporary stimulator device is implanted by the physician after a local anesthetic or sedative is administered. The physician places the leads under the skin, guided by an X-Ray machine and a radiology technician. The leads are then attached to a small, hand-held generator that the patient controls. The generator sends electrical pulses to the spinal cord, thus interfering with the nerve impulses that cause the pain sensation.

scs - Azeem

The system replaces pain with a feeling of massaging – or merely just the absence of pain. It may allow for reduced pain medication and help the patient improve mobility. Often times patients experience relief immediately, though the leads may occasionally need to be adjusted for optimum performance.

The spinal cord stimulation devices at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates are supplied by St. Jude Medical, whose motto is “Power over pain.” The company has a longstanding relationship with physicians and are able to directly answer patients’ questions or help them out with maintenance of the device. Says Dave Moss of St. Jude Medical, “We provide the stimulation device and become the first line when dealing with it. We have an excellent relationship with Sarasota Orthopedic Associates and Dr. Nomen Azeem and, we are very ingrained in the practice while working efficiently with their staff.”

“As an interventional pain physician, I witness the debilitating effects of chronic pain physically, mentally, and psycho-socially which impact individuals’ quality of life” said Dr Nomen Azeem. “All pain physicians worry of the long term systemic effects of pain medications. Fortunately, the technological advances being made in the field of neuro-modulation are astounding and have revolutionized how we think about treating neuropathic pain.” Dr. Azeem, Interventional Pain and Sports Medicine Specialist at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates, has seen a vast increase in quality of life for many of his patients, without having to resort to invasive surgery or increased medication.

Dr. Azeem is double board-certified  in Interventional Pain Management and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and an expert in minimally invasive procedures for treating chronic back pain (with or without leg pain), chronic neck pain (with or without arm pain), pain that persists after back or neck surgery, peripheral neuropathy, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), Occipital Neuralgia, and Post-Herpetic Neuralgia.  Click HERE to learn more about Dr Azeem or HERE to learn more about Sarasota Orthopedic Associates.