What is a Physiatrist?

September 14th, 2020

When you visit Upper Bucks Orthopaedics at Grand View Health, you probably expect to see orthopaedic surgeons and sports medicine physicians. You’ll also meet another specialist that you might not be expecting—a physiatrist. But what is a physiatrist, and how can he help you?

“I tell people I’m a non-operative physician who manages chronic musculoskeletal conditions, primarily focused on conditions of the neck and back,” says Sanjay Digamber, MD, who joined the Upper Bucks Orthopaedics team in August 2020.

While some physiatrists work inside the hospital, Dr. Digamber specializes exclusively on outpatient care. “I chose to work in the outpatient setting because I enjoy interacting with patients one-on-one,” he says. In addition to holding a medical degree and completing an internship and residency, he completed a fellowship in interventional spine and musculoskeletal medicine.

Dr. Digamber cares for patients ages 18 and older. He cares for patients with arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, herniated discs, pinched nerves in the neck or back (or other neck and back pain), sciatica, sports injuries and work injuries. He uses X-rays and MRIs to help deliver accurate diagnoses. He also performs nerve conduction studies and electromyography (EMG) to help diagnose nerve damage or disease.

People with orthopaedic conditions rely on a physiatrist for non-surgical treatments. These may include epidural steroid injections (interlaminar and transforaminal), nerve blocks, sacroiliac joint injections, trigger point injections, and hip and bursal injections. In addition, Dr. Digamber is skilled at radiofrequency ablation, a minimally invasive procedure that destroys the nerve fibers that transmit the sensation of pain.

Dr. Digamber also offers non-opioid medical management for pain. He can provide home exercise programs to strengthen back and neck muscles, and he will refer patients to physical therapy when needed.

Dr. Digamber currently rotates between three Upper Bucks Orthopaedics locations—Harleysville, Colmar and Sellersville. He will also see patients in Quakertown in the upcoming months.

A native of the region, Dr. Digamber chose to work at Grand View Health because of his fondness for the community. “It has a good vibe, with great schools, and it’s within driving distance of Philadelphia and New York City,” he says. “I was also impressed by how Grand View Health is growing.”

To make an appointment with Dr. Digamber, call 215-257-3700.