New, Non-Invasive Knee Procedure Could Relieve Arthritis Patients Without Surgery

First Posted: Jun 14, 2017 04:40 AM EDT

The Food and Drug Administration just recently approved a new, non-invasive knee procedure called "cooled radiofrequency ablation." It is found to be effective in relieving the pains from patients suffering from chronic pains such as arthritis without undergoing surgery.

The new knee procedure could be used as the treatment for patients with moderate to severe osteoarthritis pain who do not want to undergo knee replacement surgery or who have conditions that could not undertake surgery. The procedure is marketed as "Coolief."

So, how does Coolief work? This knee procedure utilizes radio frequency to target and mute the nerves that send pain signals from the arthritic knee to the brain. It relieves the pains of the patients and helps them go back to their daily work without discomfort. On the other hand, the procedure does not repair arthritis in the knee, according to NBC News.

The types of arthritis that affect the knee include the osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. This is a chronic condition in which there is a breakdown of the cartilage that triggers the bones to rub against each other. This leads to stiffness, pain and loss of movement in the joint.

Meanwhile, the rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease of the joints. This results in joint damage, pain, inflammation, swelling, disability and loss of function. With the new knee procedure, patients suffering from these common types of arthritis will be relieved and could go back to their activities without undergoing surgery.

Dr. Amin Sandeep, a pain specialist at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, said that what they are changing is the wiring of the knee. They are taking away the pain signal and interrupting it.

In a 2016 study, the researchers compared Coolief to well-known cortisone injections. The results showed that patients received a longer-lasting pain relief with Coolief than the injections. The new knee procedure lessened the pain of the patients for about 6 to 12 months. This depends on how rapid the nerves in the knee stimulate.

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