From an interview with
Dr. Thomas DiStefano
McLeod Orthopaedics Cheraw
In the last few years, patients suffering from constant Osteoarthritis knee pain found another option for relief. Knee ablation can decrease pain, enhance function and improve a patient’s quality of life.
“It is a technique where you can put a probe directly to the nerve, that triggers pain in a specific area,” says McLeod Orthopaedic Specialist Dr. Thomas DiStefano. “We use radio frequency to basically ablate or deaden the nerve.”
Dr. DiStefano has found patients feeling relief for an average of two years.
“I saw a patient that we had treated with ablation,” says Dr. DiStefano. “She experienced pain relief for two-and-a-half years with end-stage arthritic changes in the knee, and she still is feeling only minimal discomfort. So, it really held up so far for her.”
Ablation is primarily for patients that have not experienced relief from conservative non-surgical treatments and are poor candidates for surgery.
Before turning to surgical options, Dr. DiStefano looks at over-the-counter treatments, such as Tylenol, glucosamine and vitamins.
“There’s also viscosupplementation or hyaluronic acid injections for the knees,” says Dr. DiStefano. “For our older population that offers a great treatment, where it’s typically a three-shot series. It’s like a lubricant, cushion or a shock absorber type of effect. We call it ‘WD-40 for the knees.’ What’s nice about that treatment is it lasts about six months, which provides more sustained relief than a cortisone injection.”
ACTION YOU CAN TAKE
Having pain or problems with your knee? Talk to an Orthopedic Specialist, who focuses on muscle and bone problems.
Find an Orthopedic Specialist near you.
Sources include: McLeod Health, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, National Library of Medicine