September 17, 2017
It is a group none of us want to be a part of, and yet as many as 10 million Americans are members: sharing a diagnosis of osteoarthritis . Caused by the wearing away of cartilage with time, osteoarthritis frequently impacts larger joints, like the knees, and is often debilitating to a senior’s quality of life. With three main recommended treatment options – over-the-counter drugs to reduce inflammation, such as ibuprofen, prescription painkillers such as tramadol, or physical therapy – many of people with osteoarthritis have resigned themselves to a lifetime of limping, discomfort, modified activity levels, and not surprisingly, chronic pain.
And while knee replacement surgery may be beneficial for some, not all arthritis sufferers are suitable; or, the health risks associated with this type of invasive procedure are too great, in particular for senior citizens. Now, however, an interesting new osteoarthritis treatment has entered the arena, and provides great relief from chronic pain without the risks or complications of the other options. Referred to as cooled radio frequency ablation (“Coolief”), the procedure works by “…changing the wiring of the knee…taking away the pain signal and interrupting it,” according to Dr. Amin Sandeep, a pain specialist at Rush University Medical Center. The dramatic reduction in soreness, swelling and stiffness also makes it possible for many patients to reduce their dependence on prescription medications and then to resume – or start – a more active lifestyle, resulting in better overall health and wellbeing.
Very similar to shots of cortisone, long-lasting but temporary respite from aches and pains is commonly achieved for a period of about six to twelve months. Requiring only local anesthetic, the treatment is performed on an outpatient basis within as few as 40 minutes. Potential risks and recovery time are minimal; however, it’s important to keep in mind that the procedure will not adjust, slow down, or end the advancement of osteoarthritis. Even so, for many individuals, quality of life is considerably enhanced as pain is diminished significantly.
Are you or an elderly loved one dealing with the adverse effects of osteoarthritis? Some help will go a considerable way towards improving quality of life for the elderly with chronic health concerns such as osteoarthritis and other conditions of aging, whether through helping with cleaning and washing, taking care of shopping for groceries and making meals, ensuring prescription medications are taken exactly as prescribed, or providing friendly companionship to cheer up the day. Call Continuum of Chesterfield, MO and the surrounding area, at (314) 863-9912 to learn more ways that we can be of assistance!