Minimally Invasive Solutions for Knee Pain
September 02, 2017
By Becky Weise
Physical activity plays a huge role in our health and wellbeing. Sometimes, unfortunately, our activities cause pain. Acute pain typically lasts for a short period of time until the cause of the pain has been removed or has healed. Activity can then resume. Chronic pain, on the other hand, can cause a downward spiral for health and wellbeing because it just doesn’t ever go away. Chronic knee pain, because it affects so much of our movement, can greatly impede our activity level, which can lead to other health problems.
To help patients who suffer from chronic knee pain, Dr. Ben Taimoorazy of Guardian Headache and Pain Management Institute has created a subsidiary practice called the Laser Knee Institute, that offers a comprehensive range of non-surgical alternatives for battling knee pain.
Last month’s article discussed several non-surgical procedures — including cold laser therapy and steroid, viscoelastic, or intra-articular Botox injections — that can provide relief for some patients either in lieu of surgery or after a surgical procedure that has not stopped the pain.
Two other treatment options available for patients with knee pain include laser precision radiofrequency ablation and regenerative medicine. All of the procedures can be done with minimal sedation, or even no sedation, and are performed on an outpatient basis.
For patients with advanced osteoarthritis or severe knee pain caused by other reasons, radiofrequency ablation is a viable option for controlling or stopping the pain. Radiofrequency ablation involves using heat to deactivate the nerve endings of three specific nerves found in the knee. This will prevent the pain signal from being transmitted to the brain — no pain signal, no pain.
“Radiofrequency ablation is a good option for patients who for some reason cannot have knee surgery — it may be due to their age or a comorbidity that makes surgery untenable,” explains Dr. Taimoorazy.
Other patients choose radiofrequency ablation because they prefer a different strategy after they’ve undergone knee surgery. They may still have some pain after the surgery. Or, they had surgery on one knee, but don’t want to undergo the procedure and extensive rehab that would be necessary for the second knee. They simply don’t want to go through it again.
Finally, regenerative medicine offers a promising treatment by healing rather than mitigating or masking the cause of the pain. This procedure involves taking the patient’s own blood and spinning it to separate the platelets. Then, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), with or without stem cells is injected into the knee, causing the cartilage to regenerate. For regenerative medicine to be viable, the patient must still have some cartilage in the knee.
Several options, such as steroids or viscoelastic injections and radiofrequency ablation, are covered by most insurance programs. Other options may not be covered, but a patient may feel it is worth the investment. Cold laser treatment, for example, may not be covered, but it is one of the least costly options.
“Each patient’s history and background will affect the type of treatment that would be best for them,” says Dr. Taimoorazy. “If a patient isn’t a candidate for a regenerative procedure, we won’t recommend it. But we will work with them to find the best solution for their pain, in a non-surgical, outpatient setting.”
With the focus, of course, on eliminating pain.
If you missed last month’s article on knee pain, you may read it online at www.HealthyCellsBN.com or contact Cheryl at 309-664-2524; firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about solutions to knee pain available at the Laser Knee Institute, call Dr. Taimoorazy at 888-KNEE-DOC, (888-563-3362) or online at GuardianPainInstitute.com. His office is located at 2203 Eastland Dr. in Bloomington.
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