Dr. George Arcos Joins Spine, Orthopedics & Rehabilitation, Is Pioneer In Interventional Pain Management
By Space Coast Daily // November 7, 2016
established first pain clinic in the Air Force
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Dr. George Arcos, who recently joined the staff at Spine Orthopedics and Rehabilitation, or SOAR, and is a pioneer in the field of interventional pain management, has never been afraid of hard work.
The native of the small Long Island, New York, town of Bellmore, Arcos worked hard to excel from the time he was in high school, where he participated in three sports and was also president of the school’s band and jazz band and played the trumpet.
He had such musical talent that he was accepted to the Eastman School of Music, considered the Julliard for brass players.
Instead of a career in music, however, he opted for medicine, attending the University of Florida while working himself through school.
“My parents were not able to afford college,” he said.
Arcos was asked to walk-on as fullback for Gators football by ten coach Doug Dickey, but he was only able to participate for a year because his 40-hour-work schedule, plus his studies, didn’t allow much time for sports.
After acceptance to the New York College of Osteopathic medicine, Arcos was awarded a full United States Air Force scholarship. First specializing in anesthesiology, he became board certified, passing all three parts of the rigorous exam on this first attempt.
Appointed chief of anesthesiology at Homestead Air Force, Arcos established the first pain clinic in the Air Force, as well as in South Florida, in 1986. He also helped implement the Air Force’s first two-year training program in pain management, which earned him the Air Force’s Commendation Medal for his contributions.
“My interest in pain management began while caring for post-surgical patients,” he said. “Since there was no specialty of pain medicine at the time, treatment was limited to narcotics.”
Arcos credits the Air Force for launching and nurturing his career, and he will be forever grateful for the opportunities and experience the military afforded him.
“The Air Force was a highlight of my life,” said Arcos. “They enabled me to go to medical school, so I owe far more to the Air Force than I can every repay.”
Deployed to Panama, Grenada and Desert Storm, Arcos’ duties entailed deployment of fully operation air transportable hospital within 30 minutes from air drop.
While stationed at Homestead, Arcos was in the thick of Hurricane Andrew.
“Hurricane Andrew was the most devastating disaster I ever witnessed,” said Arcos, who helped coordinate rescue efforts for the surrounding region.
Arcos tapped on his training as an anesthesiologist to be among the first to apply nerve blocks and regional anesthesia techniques to the post-operative period.
He is credited for establishing several hospital programs in this new field. As part of the faculty at the University of Florida, Arcos coordinated all resident education. While at UF, he also obtained a fellowship in bioethics.
“I am proud that I was the first osteopathic physician awarded full clinical faculty appointment in any surgical specialty,” he said. “My performance paved the way for full and equal acceptance of osteopathic physicians in training programs at UF.”
His career includes the position of medical director of the North Florida/South Georgia Veterans’ Affairs Hospital in Gainesville, where he transformed a 20×20 pain clinic into a 40,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility.
“We offered our veterans the best treatments available and even started an acupuncture clinic in 1988,” said Arcos. “We were the first to use electro-acupuncture to treat phantom limb pain in Florida.”
When Arcos decided to open his own practice in Tallahassee, he quickly grew it to 24,000 patients, who voted him their choice for Compassionate Physicians’ Award and Patients’ Choice Award.
All the hard work has paid off for Arcos, who is listed among the “Leading Physicians of the World,” an honor limited to approximately only one percent of all practicing physicians.
Although his breadth of experience encompasses the military, academia and private practice, veterans hold a special place in his heart.
“I feel a great motivation to alleviate the pain experienced by all patients and carry a special burden for veterans in pain,” he said.
Arcos’ new connection with SOAR will provide the practice’s patients with the experience and abilities of a recognize expert in the field.
Established in 2003 by Dr. Brian Dowdell, SOAR focuses on an interdisciplinary approach to helping patients with orthopedic and pain disorders through advanced and minimally invasive interventional pain medicine, physical therapy, medication optimization and diagnostics.
Dowdell and Arcos have the most experience in pain intervention of any two physicians in Brevard and offer the most advanced procedures, techniques most other practices cannot provide.
Pain management options have increased dramatically since Arcos first entered the field in the 1980s, so patients need not suffer discomfort.
Longer term treatments for sacroiliac pain may provide up to three years of relief from pain. Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulation, or DRG, allows for more specific targeting of pain in the foot, groin and chest wall seen with cases of shingles, diabetes and post-hernia surgery.
Advances in spinal cord stimulation allows much improved treatment for low back pain without any feeling of tingling.
New non-surgical procedures also allow for the treatment of some disc herniations without any incision or cutting or bone or muscle. Disc FX, for example, uses an endoscope to visualize the inside of the disc, remove the herniated tissue and seal any tears.
“There has been an explosive increase in options for pain management over the last five years,” said Arcos.
SOAR offices are located at 308 S. Harbor City Blvd., Suite A, Melbourne; 389 Commerce Pkwy., Suite 129, Rockledge; 12301 Lake Underhill Road, Suite 1221, Orlando; and 1315 S. International Pkwy., Suite 1111, Lake Mary.
For more information, call 321-733-0064 or see SoarFlorida.com
ABOVE VIDEO: SOAR’s Dr. Brian Dowdell was honored as a Central Florida Humanitarian.