Stem Cell Therapy vs. Joint Replacement for Knee Pain

Stem Cell Therapy vs. Joint Replacement for Knee Pain

Sitting, standing, walking, driving—those with knee pain know how much harder it can make doing the things we need to do every day. Traditional joint replacement can make a real difference, as can regenerative procedures, such as stem cell therapy, that use your own adult stem cells to naturally repair damage. Knee pain is debilitating and often tough to manage on your own, but navigating all of the potential treatment options can leave patients confused and wondering which option is right for them. In particular, patients struggle to decide between joint replacement and regenerative options, such as stem cell therapy, to manage their pain.

Read on to see if stem cell therapy or joint replacement is the right treatment for your knee pain. 

Procedure

While stem cell therapy and knee replacement surgery are both straightforward procedures from an orthopedic standpoint, knee replacement surgery has a higher success rate at the cost of being significantly more invasive. Stem cell therapy is regenerative, meaning that it helps your body rebuild the damage in your knees naturally using your own adult stem cells. Because some people’s bodies react differently to stem cell therapy, the success of the procedure, in terms of pain alleviation, will vary by patient. To learn more about stem cell therapy, visit Dr. Carlson’s page, Using Adult Stem Cells For The Treatment Of Pain, then check out the video below the Mayo Clinic explaining the procedure:

Recovery Time

Perhaps one of the most significant differences between stem cell therapy and knee replacement surgery is the amount of recovery time required of each procedure. Because a knee replacement is such a significant surgery, the recovery time can take months. One of the major advantages of stem cell therapy is that patients generally see a much smaller reduction in their mobility as a result of the procedure. This translates to a shorter recovery period and significantly more freedom for patients following therapy sessions when compared to patients who undergo joint replacement surgeries.

Insurance

Despite the fact that medical practitioners have used stem cells for decades in the treatment of various diseases, their use as a treatment for pain is relatively new. Due to the cutting-edge nature of regenerative medicine, many insurance companies do not yet cover stem cell therapy as a treatment for pain. However, Medicare and private insurance do  generally cover the majority of the costs associated with knee replacement surgery as a method of pain management. The cost of stem cell treatment varies based on which procedure is performed.

If you’re coping with knee pain and are interested in either of these options, make an appointment to see one of our specialists to find the treatment plan that works best for you.

10 Facts About Microdisectomy for Leg Pain & Weakness

10 Facts About Microdisectomy for Leg Pain & Weakness

microdisectomy is a relatively common procedure used to alleviate leg pain, weakness and, occasionally, pain in the lower back. For some patients, back surgery can be a frightening concept—so we’ve put together a list of facts that you should know about the use of microdisectomies to correct back pain and weakness.

Read on for 10 facts about microdisectomies for leg pain and weakness.

1. The Procedure Can Be Minimally Invasive

While there are different surgical methods for microdisectomies, they are generally minimally invasive—often utilizing a surgical microscope and performed through a small one inch incision in the lower back.

2. It Removes the Herniated Portion the Disc

After making the incision in the spine, the surgeon removes the membrane over the nerve root and carefully retracts the nerves from the herniated disc in order to remove the source of pressure on the nerve root.

3. It Usually Offers Immediate Relief from Leg Pain

The purpose of a microdisectomy is to remove a small portion of the herniated disc in your spine that is placing pressure on the nerve root. Removing pressure on the nerve root will often completely remove the source of the pain and patients generally feel pain relief immediately following the procedure.

4. Recovery May Take Months for Neurological Symptoms

When the nerve root is damaged by the herniated disc, it may lead to numbness, weakness or other neurological symptoms in the leg or foot. Following the surgery, it may take months for the nerve root to fully heal and for these symptoms to subside.

5. You Should Try NSAIDs and Physical Therapy First

Patients should generally only consider surgical intervention when alternative treatment options, such as oral steroids, NSAIDs and physical therapy have failed to address their pain.

6. The Procedure Is Up to 95% Effective for Sciatica Pain

According to the Spine Institute of San Diego,  the success rate of micodisectomies approaches 95% for appropriately chosen patients. This translates to high rate of success and pain relief for those experiencing pain, weakness or numbness in their legs.

7. Most People Leave the Hospital Within 24 Hours

Because the procedure is minimally invasive, many patients who undergo a microdisectomy are able to go home within 24 hours of their procedure—often on the same day.

8. It is Sometimes Referred to as “Microdecompression”

Some people refer to a microdisecotomy as a microdecompression due to the procedure’s decompression of the nerve root.

9. A Microdisectomy is Different Than a Disectomy

While disectomies and microdisectomies are both surgeries involving the partial or complete surgical removal of an intervertebral disc, they are two separate procedures. The “micro” in microdisctomy refers to the use of microscopic magnification, which allows for smaller incisions and a less-invasive surgery overall.

10. Roughly 5% of Patients Develop a Recurrent Herniation

While microdisectomies have an incredibly high rate of success at alleviating leg pain in patients, one of the most common complications is a recurrent disc herniation—which may require another procedure to correct.

If you suspect that you may be in need of a microdisectomy to alleviate pain, weakness or numbness in your legs, make an appointment today to meet with one of the members of the comprehensive spine team at the Orthopedic Institute. 

Ice vs. Heat: What's Better for Pain Relief

Ice vs Heat: What’s Better for Pain Relief?

Slight to moderate pain doesn’t always require a trip to the doctor’s office. In certain situations, using a cold pack or heating pad at home can help you feel better, faster. The trick is finding the right treatment for your needs—and knowing how to use that treatment without causing yourself further pain or injury.

Ready for some cool tips and hot advice? Read on for the basic on using ice and heat for pain relief. 

If you’re treating pain at home, simply remember this quick rule of thumb: Ice is for numbing the inflammation associated with fresh injuries (like if you fall and hurt your knee or ankle) – and heat is for soothing stiff, aching muscles and joints.

Let’s take a quick look at when to use both:

When to use cold therapy:

  • If you have had a recent injury (within the last 48 hours) where swelling is a problem.
  • Apply an ice pack, frozen gel pack or even a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel to the affected area. You should never apply a frozen item directly to the skin, as it can cause damage to the skin and tissues.
  • Apply cold treatment as soon as possible after an injury.
  • Use cold therapy for short periods of time, several times a day. Ten to 15 minutes is fine, and no more than 20 minutes of cold therapy should be used at a time to prevent nerve, tissue, and skin damage.
  • Elevate the affected area for best results.

When to use heat therapy:

  • If you are experiencing joint or muscle pain or stiffness.
  • Minor stiffness or tension can often be relieved with only 15 to 20 minutes of heat therapy.
  • Moderate to severe pain can benefit from longer sessions of heat therapy like warm bath, lasting between 30 minutes and two hours.
  • Local therapy is best for small areas of pain, like one stiff muscle. You could use small heated gel packs or a hot water bottle if you only want to treat an injury locally.
  • Regional treatment is best for more widespread pain or stiffness, and could be achieved with a steamed towel, large heating pad, or heat wraps.
  • Full body treatment would include options like saunas or a hot bath.

When NOT to use cold or heat packs:

  • If you have areas of skin with open wounds or rashes.
  • If you have areas of skin with poor sensation to heat or cold.
  • If you have areas of the body with known poor circulation.
  • If you have diabetes.
  • If you have an infection under your skin.

If the treatment hasn’t helped much with regular use, or makes your pain worse, see your doctor to discuss other treatment options. It’s also important to call your doctor if you develop any bruising or skin changes while using cold or heat therapy.

When Should You See a Doctor for Neck Pain?

When Should You See a Doctor for Neck Pain?

Your spine is important and, when you’re experiencing chronic neck pain, it can be scary. How do you know when neck pain crosses the line from being “a pain in the neck” to something more serious?

Check out this quick reference guide for common causes of neck pain and when it’s time to see a doctor. 

Common Neck Pain Causes

The tricky thing about neck pain is that it can have a number of causes. Most of the time it’s temporary and could go away with something as simple as a good night’s sleep or a dose of over-the-counter pain medication. Common causes include:

  • Tension headaches: Tension headaches are an incredibly common brand of headache and they are often associated with pain and tenderness in the neck.
  • Sleep position: Sleeping in a position where your head lacks support and your neck is strained can often cause neck pain. To avoid neck pain from sleep, try sleeping on your back. You might also need a new mattress or pillow for additional support.
  • Looking up and down: People tend to hold their cellphones too low and situate their televisions too high. This can lead to looking up or down for extended periods of time, which can cause neck pain.
  • Using the phone: While pinching your phone between your ear and your might be a convenient way to hold a conversation while keeping your hands free, this practice can put strain on your neck.
  • Dehydration: The discs in your spine that separate your vertebrae need hydration. If your body is dehydrated, these spongy discs become less spongy, which can lead to neck pain.
  • Carrying heavy objects: Carrying too much weight in one hand, such as in a briefcase or purse, can put undue strain on your shoulders, back and neck.
  • Posture: Sitting in a slouched position with your head in front of your shoulders can put a greater strain on your neck.

Serious Neck Pain Causes

While neck pain often results from less-serious conditions such as slouching or dehydration, there are a number of serious medical conditions that can cause neck pain as well. If you’re experiencing serious neck pain, you may want to consider seeing a spine specialist at the Orthopedic Institute.

  • Worn joints: Just like other joints in your body, the padding between your vertebrae can wear down with age. This can cause bone spurs which can affect your joint motion and cause pain.
  • Injuries: Rear-end auto collisions can result in whiplash injury, which occurs when the head is jerked backward and then forward, straining the soft tissues of the neck. Strains or sprains to the neck after an auto accident may not be immediately evident.  Symptoms may start or intensify in the days after the accident but generally are short lived and treated with simple conservative measures such as ice, heat, over the counter anti-inflammatories, muscle stimulation or a exercise/therapy program.
  • Disease: Certain diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, cancer or other inflammatory conditions can cause pain and stiffness in the neck.  If you have persistent symptoms and family history of auto-immune diseases you may want to contact your physician.
  • Nerve compression: The disks in your spine that separate your vertebrae are soft on the inside with a tough exterior on the outside. A herniated disk occurs when the softer inside ruptures through the tougher exterior. A herniated disk in your neck may also cause pain in your shoulder or arm. Herniated disks, along with bone spurs in the vertebrae of your neck, can press on the spinal nerves or the spinal cord, resulting in pain, weakness or numbness and tingling

If you have severe, lasting pain, and signs that may indicate one of the more serious causes of neck pain mentioned above, it’s time to Stand Up For Your Spine. Learn more about our experienced neck and back team

5 Signs You May Need a Hip Replacement

5 Signs You May Need a Hip Replacement

Many people managing rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, osteonecrosis and other general joint health issues struggle with whether or not they should seek hip replacement surgery. They have pain, but it can be hard to decide if the pain is significant enough to warrant a hip replacement.

Check out our list of 5 signs that it’s time to consider a hip replacement.

1. Hip Pain

The first, and perhaps most obvious, sign that you should consider a hip replacement is hip pain. Do you walk with a limp or depend upon a cane because of your hip pain? Hip pain shouldn’t interfere with your ability to live your life. If your pain affects your daily life, disrupts your sleeping habits or both, the damage may be serious enough to consider a hip replacement.

2. Limited Mobility

Simple tasks such as standing up, walking or taking the stairs can be incredibly difficult and painful for someone in need of hip replacement. Some people remain unaffected by their limited mobility, but if your hip pain limits your mobility to the point of interfering with your daily life, consider speaking with a physician about your options.

3. Stiffness

Does your hip stiffen up while sitting? Stiffness in a hip joint is a telltale sign that a hip may need to be replaced. Many patients in need of hip replacements will also experience stiffness when attempting to simple tasks, such as putting on shoes or gardening.

4. Grating or Rubbing

A grating or rubbing feeling in your hip joint, especially in combination with the other issues listed here, is another indicator that you may want to look into hip replacement. The hip joint is lined with smooth cartilage that prevents your thigh bone from rubbing against your hip bone. When you experience grating or rubbing, these bones are rubbing together, which can be painful and may be a sign that your hip joint should be replaced.

5. Nothing Else Works

Hip replacement surgery is never the first option. Before looking into a hip replacement, try other pain treatment options such as medication, injections, stretching and exercise. If these more moderate pain management approaches do not work, then a hip replacement may be your best solution.

If your hip pain doesn’t limit you from doing normal activities or you get relief from less invasive treatments, you may not need a hip replacement. If you are still unsure whether or not you should look into a hip replacement, come in to the Orthopedic Institute and speak with one of our hip specialists about your options.

Hip replacement can return you to a higher quality of life. Check out these Orthopedic Institute hip replacement success stories

 

10 Causes of Leg Cramps

10 Causes of Leg Cramps

Leg cramps are a pain, literally! It may not always obvious what causes them, but the pain associated with leg cramps makes them nearly impossible to ignore. The Orthopedic Institute team has compiled a list of 10 common causes of leg cramps to help you understand and avoid this pesky problem.

1. Dehydration

Have you been drinking enough water? Dehydration is one of the most common causes of leg cramps. A cramp is an involuntary contraction of a muscle. The fluids in your body allow your muscles to relax, but—when those muscles are dehydrated—they get irritable and prone to cramping. Staying hydrated, especially during physical activity, is an excellent way to avoid leg cramps.

2. Overuse

In addition to dehydration, leg muscles can also cramp from overuse. When doing particularly intense physical activity, the nerves in your spine can become overexcited and fire involuntarily, contracting your muscles and causing a cramp. Those with more sedentary lifestyles may experience muscle overuse from more mild activities such as walking, hiking, gardening. Resting your legs and stretching often will help you avoid cramps from overuse.

3. Fatigue

Your muscles need time to recover. If you use them for extended periods of time without proper rest, the potential for leg cramps is greatly increased. As the muscles in your leg become tired, they become less efficient and require more nutrients than they would if they were rested. Avoid muscle cramps from fatigue by giving your muscles proper rest and conditioning them for any prolonged use.

4. Excessive Sitting or Standing

Bodies are meant to move, so staying in one position, regardless of whether you’re sitting or standing, puts you at greater risk for muscle cramps. Standing for too long can cause your muscles to fatigue, which will increase the likelihood of a cramp. Sitting can leave muscles in the same position for an extended period of time, which can lead them to spasm and cramp. If you sit or stand all day for work, try to alternate between sitting and standing so your body is not in one position for too long.

5. Medications

Certain medications prescribed to treat Alzheimer’s, high cholesterol, asthma, Parkinson’s and osteoporosis have a tendency to cause muscle cramps. If you’re experiencing leg cramps due to medication, talk to your doctor about your pain and possible medication alternatives.

6. Potassium Deficiency

Potassium in the cells of your leg muscles helps the brain tell the muscles when to start and stop contracting. When you have a potassium deficiency, these signals are not relayed properly, and muscle contractions may be prolonged, causing a cramp. Bananas are high in potassium, so adding them to your diet will help maintain proper potassium levels and avoid cramps.

7. Poor Circulation

Poor circulation in your legs can prevent your leg muscles from getting all the oxygen they need to function. This can lead to leg pain, muscle spasms and cramps. Walking, stretching, and wearing compression stockings can all help manage poor circulation in your legs and prevent cramping.

8. Excessive Alcohol Use

The nerves in your leg can be damaged by alcohol abuse. Excessive drinking can alter the levels of thiamine, folate and vitamins B6, B12, and E, which are all needed for your nerves to function properly. This is called alcoholic Neuropathy and can be the cause of leg cramps. Avoiding alcohol can restore the nutritional health of your muscles and stop your legs from cramping.

9. Pregnancy

Women in the third trimester of pregnancy often experience leg cramps, especially in the evening hours. In this case, cramps can be caused by the additional weight of the baby, changes in circulation, and pressure from the baby placed on the nerves in your legs. Regular exercise, leg and or foot massages, and stretching are all ways to prevent leg cramps.

10. Multiple Sclerosis

One of the symptoms of multiple sclerosis is spasticity, a condition which causes certain muscles to be continuously contracted. Multiple sclerosis causes damage to the central nervous system, which can cause spasticity and lead to cramping in the legs. You can manage leg cramping caused by multiple sclerosis through maintaining a healthy diet, stretching and massaging your legs and treating them with hot and cold therapy.

Tech-Related Workplace Injuries (and How to Prevent Them)

Tech-Related Workplace Injuries (and How to Prevent Them)

The constant presence of computers in the workplace has made many of our lives easier. Emails take the place of meetings, video conferences take the place of long, cross-country trips, and extensive print research is accomplished with one search in Google. But like most new trends, there are some downsides.

Take a look at our list of the most common, tech-related workplace injuries, as well as tips on how to avoid them.

Repetitive Strain Injuries

Repetitive Strain Injuries, or RSI, are some of the most common injuries in today’s tech-infused workplaces. If you spend most of your day repeating the same motions over and over, such as typing or using a touch screen, you could be at risk of placing too much force on our muscles or joints. Some common tech-related types of RSI are carpal tunnel (numbness or tingling in the hand or arm caused by a pinched wrist nerve) and trigger finger, (inflamed tendons in the finger causing a finger or thumb to lock when bent).

These conditions become much more likely the more often you repeat the same activity over and over, without taking breaks. Be sure to not only get up from your desk at least once an hour, but also shake out your hands and wrists for a minute or two. If the pain persists, visit our hand specialists at Orthopedic Institute.

Hearing Loss

Ear buds are everywhere these days. As many workplaces move away from individual offices and towards an open concept layout, using headphones is a new form of professional manners. And of course, ear buds are by far the most popular choice. The problem is that ear buds, more than over the ear headphones, are causing widespread hearing damage. Not only that, but this hearing loss is irreversible.

Even moderate volume can cause hearing loss if you listen to it for too long. Follow the 60/60 rule: Keep your volume below 60% for less than 60 minutes per day.

Muscle Pain and Headaches

Work can be stressful. We all know that. But we may not realize the physical effects that constant stress can have on your body. When you’re stressed, your body produces excess hormones that affect muscle tension and pain sensitivity. So not only will you experience pain from holding your muscles tight all day, you will feel that pain even more intensely than normal.

And of course, lack of sleep and staring at a computer screen all day can lead to persistent headaches.

The best ways to relieve the pain are to relieve stress in your life. Start by getting sleep! Be sure to turn off your electronic devices at least an hour before bed to make sure you maintain healthy sleep patterns. Similarly, small changes such as exercise and massages can help keep stress levels down. If muscle pain persists, call us to discuss options such as acupuncture and physical therapy.


Stay aware of the way computer, tablet and cell phone usage is impacting your body, and you can keep yourself healthy as well as productive.

How the Way You Sleep Affects Your Orthopedic Help

How the Way You Sleep Affects Your Orthopedic Health

It’s no secret that drifting off to dreamland (and enjoying the right amount of quality sleep) is essential to overall health. But the position you sleep in, the mattress you sleep on and pillow you sleep with – make a big difference. Whether you’re a back, side or stomach sleeper … how you curl up at night could lead to neck or back pain in the morning.

Get comfortable, and learn how sleep position affects your orthopedic health. 

Sleeping on your stomach

This is a comfortable position for many people, but if you’re already prone to lower back problems it’s best to avoid it. Most of your weight is in the middle of your body. So, in some cases, sleeping on your stomach can cause the lower region of your spine (the lumbar area) to extend beyond normal limits. Your neck will also be twisted out of alignment when you turn your head to the side to breathe. When you sleep this way you’re definitely upping your odds of waking up with a sore neck, back or shoulders. Can’t sleep any other way? Put a thin pillow under your head – or better yet, no pillow at all. That will reduce the angle of strain on your neck. For your back, try putting a pillow under your lower back to reduce the strain on lumbar region.

Sleeping on your back

If your spine could talk, it would say “sleep on your back.” Why? Because sleeping this way evenly distributes your weight and avoids unnatural curving of your spine. That said, it can be less comfortable than other sleeping positions. Just remember, with your head, neck and spine in alignment, you can get a better rest and wake up refreshed! If you give it a try, pay attention to your pillows: adding a small pillow under your head and neck (not your shoulders) helps maintain a neutral position to the mattress. Pillow support is essential for avoiding or alleviating back pain and spinal problems. Sleeping on your back can cause snoring. Try elevating your body with a cushioned foam wedge pillow or by using an adjustable bed. It will allow for easier breathing and (hopefully) less snoring.

Sleeping on your side

Odds are you like sleeping on your side—most of us do! This common position is especially good for people with breathing problems. If you are experiencing back or neck pain, try taking the fetal position while sleeping this way. Tuck both your legs (not just one) up toward your chest. This will keep your back naturally arched. Next, put a small pillow between your knees to help take some strain off of your lower back and promote hip alignment. Again, it’s all about pillow placement. Make sure you’re keeping your head, neck and spine as naturally aligned as possible to prevent pain when you wake up.

If you have neck pain…

Your spine needs to be in a neutral position while you sleep. If you’re a stomach or side sleeper, try sleeping on your back. Also, pay attention to your pillows. If the pillow does not allow your head to sink in or if it has too much loft, it could be forcing your neck into sustained forward bending and causing pain. The main function of the pillow is to support the neck and head. Therefore it should fill the natural hollow in the neck between the head for easy adjustments for your sleep style. If you must sleep on your side, consider purchasing a down or artificial down pillow for side sleepers, which contains more fill. You could also combine two pillows to help fill the space between your neck and shoulder.

If you have back pain…

Your mattress or sleep position may be the cause of the pain. First, consider the age of your bed. Sagging mattresses should be replaced to give you the best lumbar support. Your mattress should not be to firm or too soft, a medium-firm good quality mattress usually works best for most people with back pain. Remember, your spine needs to be supported in a neutral position. If lying on your back produces low back pain, and there are no observable sags in your mattress, try placing a pillow placed under your knees when you sleep to achieve the neutral position. If that has no effect, a small pillow or a towel roll that is 1 to 1 ¼ inches compressed can be placed in the small of the back. Are you a side sleeper? Try placing the pillow or towel roll between your knees and a pillow behind your back.

There is not any one sleep position that will work for everyone. If you are experiencing pain without relief, make an appointment for an evaluation with our physical therapy team.

Home Remedies for Joint Pain Relief That Truly Work

Home Remedies For Joint Pain Relief That Truly Work

Joints form connections between bones to help our body parts move. They’re made up of connective tissue and cartilage, and when they become injured or inflamed… ouch! If you are experiencing serious or ongoing pain in your joints, it’s important to see your doctor for a medical opinion and, if necessary, a medical treatment plan. But when it comes to relieving minor joint pain, there’s no need to wait.

From hands and feet to knees, arms and elbows–try these home remedies for joint pain relief. They truly work!

Epsom Salt Soaks

This home remedy has been around for years, but do epsom salts really work? There aren’t any scientific studies to back it up, but anyone who’s tried soaking in a warm, epsom salt bath can speak to how relaxing it can be. Try this type of bath for temporary joint pain relief – and, if necessary, check with your doctor to discuss how long or how often you should soak.

Hot/Cold Compresses

Not only does heat reduce stiffness in painful joints, it can help relax muscles and increase range of motion by stimulating blood flow. On the other hand, cold packs will numb the pain and reduce joint inflammation. Try alternating both – with 15 minutes of heat followed by 15 minutes of cold to ease joint pain even more. Note: Do not use heat if the affected area is red, hot and irritated. Do not use cold compresses if you have circulatory problems.

Turmeric + Omega-3

Several studies have found that turmeric (a yellow spice found in curries and mustard) reduces pain and swelling in arthritis patients. You can also try loading up on inflammation-fighting foods rich in omega-3, such as salmon, trout, olive oil and walnuts. As always, check with your doctor before adding dietary supplements or making a major lifestyle changes. Want more healthy food advice? Check this out: 8 Joint-Friendly Foods to Strengthen Your Mobility.

Topical Creams

Think those over-the-counter creams are just for aching muscles? Think again. Anti-inflammatory topical pain creams like Penetrex or Blue-Emu can help relieve some arthritis pain, too.

Paraffin Wax Baths

Heated paraffin wax can be a great way to soothe arthritis aches and pains in your hands, feet and even elbows. There are many paraffin wax bath products on the market. Ask your doctor which is best for you, and always read the directions carefully prior to use.

Regular Exercise

Technically, it’s not a home remedy. But exercise is one of the best things you can do to stay pain-free and healthy! Joint pain can be a sign from your body that it’s time to get active. Talk to your doctor about appropriate activities that can help build muscle and relieve pressure on painful joints – including stretching, swimming or water aerobics, walking, biking and more.

Severe and chronic joint pain, especially when caused by degenerative conditions like arthritis, needs proper diagnosis and treatment. While the above suggestions may help decrease some inflammation and pain, nothing takes the place of a qualified medical opinion. Make an appointment to see one of our specialists today.

Uploaded ToTop 5 Reasons to Try Cooled Radiofrequency Treatment for Chronic Hip & Knee Pain

Top 5 Reasons to Try Cooled Radiofrequency Treatment for Chronic Hip & Knee Pain

Chronic hip and knee pain can really slow you down. Dr. James Brunz is fellowship-trained in pain management and dedicated to staying at the forefront of pain management technology. His arsenal now includes COOLIEF Cooled Radiofrequency (RF) Treatment—a non-surgical procedure that builds upon his years of expertise using Radiofrequency Ablation for patients with arthritis of the spine.

We sat down with Dr. Brunz to discuss the top 5 reasons Cooled Radiofrequency Treatment can help chronic hip and knee pain.

“Cooled radiofrequency treatment can be an excellent option for people who have had a knee or hip replacement but continue to have chronic pain, or for those unable to have replacement surgery because of a health condition,” said Dr. Brunz.

  1. Effective Pain Relief: COOLIEF Cooled RF is a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure that can safely treat chronic pain. This advanced procedure uses cooled radiofrequency energy to safely target the sensory nerves causing pain. You should begin to feel pain relief within one to two weeks. In some patients, the relief can be relatively long-lasting. In others, additional treatments may be required.
  2. Minimally Invasive: COOLIEF Cooled RF involves no incision, only a small puncture at the insertion site. You may experience some discomfort at the radiofrequency site for a short period, but this discomfort can be treated with common over-the-counter medication.
  3. No Narcotics: COOLIEF circulates water through the device while heating nervous tissue to create a treatment area that is larger than conventional RF treatments. This combination targets the pain-causing nerves without excessive heating, leading to pain relief.
  4. Quick Recovery Time: Every patient is different, but you can expect to return to work and normal everyday activities within several days. Dr. Brunz will recommend a specific amount of rest based on your unique needs and procedure requirements.
  5. No Overnight Hospital Stay: Procedure time varies, but it’s all done in an outpatient setting. COOLIEF requires no general anesthesia, and you should be able to return home shortly after the treatment. A responsible adult is required to be present in order to drive you home.

Ready to learn more? Schedule an appointment with Dr. Brunz to see if this treatment could be right for you.