NerveMed Video

Presented by Dr. Aaron G. Filler, MD PhD JD FRCS

Do You Really Need Back Surgery?

Noted neurosurgeon Dr. Aaron Filler of the Institute for Nerve Medicine in Santa Monica, California, discusses the issues surrounding back surgeries to alleviate spine and nerve pain. Alternative therapies are covered, as are new MR-guided injections which can often relieve or eliminate back pain instead of painful, invasive surgeries.

Sciatica and Piriformis Syndrome

Many people diagnosed with “sciatica” – pain that runs from their buttocks to their feet – may actually have piriformis syndrome. Dr. Aaron Filler of the Institute for Nerve Medicine in Santa Monica, California (, explains the key differences between these two afflictions, their respective treatments, and how piriformis syndrome can be alleviated with open-MR guided injections as opposed to painful, invasive back surgery. 

Open MR Injections

Dr. Aaron Filler of the Institute for Nerve Medicine in Santa Monica, California discusses the revolutionary new technique for addressing many spine and nerve pain problems – open MRI-guided injections. These minimally invasive procedures provide many patients with the relief they seek without requiring the recovery time and pain associated with traditional surgeries. If you’re seeking a solution for your spine or nerve-related health problem, this video may provide you with the insight you seek.

Pudendal Neuralgia

Join neurologist Dr. Aaron Filler of the Institute for Nerve Medicine in Santa Monica, California as he explores an often-difficult to discuss subject, pudendal neuralgia. Numbness or pain in the urogenital area (perineum) affects thousands, yet many are embarrassed to discuss it with their physician. Dr. Filler discusses symptoms, the difficulty in accurately diagnosing pudendal neuralgia, and the best strategy for resolving this difficult condition. 

Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Magnetic Resonance Neurography is a ground-breaking new development in medical imaging. Invented by Dr. Aaron Filler, MR Neurography employs standard MRI machines outfitted with patented “pulse sequences,” allowing physicians and surgeons to “see” nerves inside the human body – something that was impossible just a few years before. As Dr. Aaron Filler, MD, PhD and chief of clinical services for the Neurography Institute explains, the power of MR Neurography means better and more accurate medical scans for issues affecting the nerves and spine — resulting in more accurate diagnoses and treatments for patients suffering from spine and nerve pain. 

“How do I know this surgery will work?”

Patients looking for a guarantee of surgical outcome are advised to stay away from any doctor who says that he or she can guarantee a cure.

The best way to place your trust in a physician is by choosing a board-certified surgeon in good standing and who is able to show objective clinical outcomes that support his or her treatment methods.

Unlike most doctors who have recently started performing these procedures, Dr. Aaron G. Filler of the Institute for Nerve Medicine has been long established as a leading expert in clinical determination and treatment of complex spine and peripheral nerve conditions. He has proven clinical methods that are often copied by other providers, many of whom never actually achieve the same successful results.

For example, many patients who have Piriformis Syndrome do not know that this is a widely encompassing term for multiple peripheral nerve and complex spine pain conditions.

Unlike other surgeons who have to resort to a major, invasive surgery, Dr. Filler’s techniques allow him to perform a minimal access surgery and distinguish if there is an actual Piriformis muscle anomaly or perhaps if there is involvement of adjacent peripheral nerve branches like the Sciatic, Pudendal or Superior Gluteal nerves.

Simply put, it is the difference between:

  • Operating blind and waiting to resolve an issue when you stumble across it; or
  • Operating with a GPS navigation system where you know exactly where you are going and what you will encounter along the way.

Patients who have been living with chronic pain after years of failed in-network treatment have every right to be skeptical. They ask, “How do I know Dr. Filler won’t abandon me like my other doctors did when they could not fix me?”

The answer to this question was actually featured in recent profile of Dr. Filler by Fox 11 News in Los Angeles, accompanying this article. In the piece, the Fox reporter referred to Dr. Filler as “the real House MD,” because he does not stop trying to find the right treatment — even when the initial intervention fails to correct all pain conditions.

Please be assured our dedication to providing exceptional clinical care means we provide patients with unparallel access to patented technology and treatment planning.

The cornerstone of our success is supported by detailed data resulting from MR Neurography studies. With this advanced imaging of soft tissue elements, we can see nerve elements outside of the spinal column. Basically, we are able to see what other doctors cannot see.

Next, we confirm the diagnosis by using Interventional MRI guidance to target and pre-treat the area just prior to surgery. After-surgery is a critical time period for most patients, since this is when scar tissue may build up, impacting the outcome. Our strategy is to provide additional surgical care post-surgery to maximize the chances of successful outcome. We do this by completing additional Interventional MRI procedures to help achieve the best patient results.

This type of clinical planning and staged surgical procedure provides two unique diagnostic planning methods to optimize the surgery and a comprehensive third post-operative procedure to speed patient recovery.

While no doctor can guarantee clinical outcomes, doctors should be able provide patients with a list of peer-reviewed references and clinical research indicating his outcomes.

The Institute for Nerve Medicine will gladly provide medical peer review papers to patients interested in learning about the standard of care and who are debating whether or not to have surgery.


Dr. Aaron Filler on ABC World News Tonight with Peter Jennings

Watch this circa-1990s ABC World News Tonight with Peter Jennings “Your Health” report featuring Dr. Aaron Filler soon after the public launch of magnetic resonance neurography. The case study included in this clip is an important one, as well.

Piriformis Syndrome: Advancements in Treatment

Join Dr. Aaron Filler, MD PhD FRCS, of the Institute for Nerve Medicine as he discusses state-of-the-art treatment strategies for Piriformis Syndrome (often diagnosed as “sciatica”), where sufferers endure a wide range of nerve pain from the buttocks, down the leg and to the foot.

Institute for Nerve Medicine Introduction – Philips

An introductory video created by Philips for the Institute for Nerve Medicine.

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Request an appointment with Dr. Aaron Filler

Please note that all fields are mandatory. For fastest service, please call us at 866-41-NERVES (310-314-6410) between 9AM-5PM Pacific. Click the button to download and complete our Patient Information Form prior to your appointment visit.

    Dr. Aaron G. Filler, MD PhD JD FRCS

    Medical Director, Institute for Nerve Medicine
    Santa Monica, California

    Dr. Aaron Filler is the world’s leading expert in the treatment of nerve pain, revolutionizing this area of medicine by inventing several new technologies. One such technology, MR Neurography, enables doctors to use an MRI scanner to examine nerves, previously a difficult-to-impossible tissue to visualize with MR imaging. Dr. Filler’s research in axonal transport is leading to a whole new generation of advanced pain medications. He has developed many new “minimal access” surgery methods that allow him to treat complex nerve problems with small outpatient surgeries. He has also pioneered the use of the Open MRI scanner to do surgeries and other therapies with the ultra-high precision and safety of the magnetic resonance imaging.

    Dr. Aaron Filler combines three key components in his treatment of each patient:

    • Compassionate personal attention,
    • Expert medical skills, and
    • The best technology in the world

    He combines these components to turn insoluble pain problems into specific treatable diagnoses. Prior to coming to the Institute for Nerve Medicine, many of Dr. Filler’s patients have seen a dozen doctors (or more), experienced failed surgeries, and have even had their very pain questioned.

    Time and again, Dr. Filler demonstrates that in many of these cases the problem is the doctor and not the patient. A cure is in reach when the best available medical care is brought to bear.

    Insurance and Payment Options

    Questions about what insurance plans the Institute for Nerve Medicine accepts?

    We accept all insurance plans (including PPO, POS, etc.) that include out-of-network benefits.

    We have opted out of Medicare.

    We do not insurance-bill any worker’s compensation plan.

    We provide interest-free monthly payment plans for patients with insurance plans that do not fully cover costs of out-of-network and specialty medical services.

    We accept all major forms of payment: VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, personal checks and cash (US currency). We do not accept foreign currencies (e.g. Euro).

    We work with patients of every budget level and want all patients to have access to the best expert care in this field. Accordingly, billing services are offered as a courtesy to all patients.

    More questions? Call us at 310-314-6410.