For patients who are not candidates for knee surgery or who have lingering pain following knee replacement, the options for pain relief are limited. Fortunately, an innovative treatment is available at the Christian Hospital Pain Management Center that can decrease pain and improve mobility, all in just three minutes. It’s called genicular nerve block and ablation.
The genicular nerves are microscopic nerves located on the outside of the knee joint. They supply most of the sensation in the knees, including pain.
An advanced technology referred to as radiofrequency ablation can block this pain signal, using targeted heat to break down the nerves and ultimately alleviate knee pain.
With a simple, one-minute test injection, the pain management specialists at Christian Hospital can determine if a patient is a candidate for radiofrequency ablation. If the test provides the patient with substantial pain relief, they will be scheduled for the procedure. It’s an easy, three-minute procedure, requiring no sedation and covered by most insurance. Patients can expect at least 50% improvement in their knee pain for about one year, along with an increase in activity level and mobility.
“Knee pain is such a common problem. Often, patients come to us having tried everything, from physical therapy to anti-inflammatories. This treatment fills the void in which there were no other options before,” says Chris Beuer, MD, a pain management specialist and medical director of the Pain Management Center. “It’s quick, easy and clinically proven to provide effective pain relief without medication.”
This was the case for Donna McDowell, 50, of Staunton, Ill. Donna had severe knee pain and pressure for more than 10 years. As a medical professional, she spent most of the day on her feet, and the chronic pain she experienced was disrupting her life, her job and her sleep. Unfortunately, Donna wasn’t a candidate for knee replacement. She searched for pain relief from orthopedic specialists and other pain clinics with no success.
That changed when Donna’s sister-in-law referred her to the Christian Hospital Pain Management Center. After meeting with Dr. Beuer and determining she was a good candidate for genicular nerve block and ablation, Donna’s procedure was scheduled for early January. She was in and out within minutes and found pain relief for the first time in nearly a decade.
“I walked out of there with no pain. It’s amazing,” says Donna. “I am so pleased with the impeccable care I received and so impressed with the knowledge of Dr. Beuer and his staff.” She continues, “Dr. Beuer is fabulous.
He really listened to me and explained what I could expect, and the nurses were equally phenomenal. I found no faults, and as a medical professional myself, that’s really an accomplishment.”
Donna’s results from genicular nerve block and ablation have been life changing. She can stand and walk without pain. Even her back pain has improved. She recently vacationed to South Padre Island, Tex., and enjoyed a rainy day shopping — something she shares she couldn’t have done in December. Donna is back enjoying life with her husband, children and three dogs, and already planning to have the procedure done on her other knee.
“It’s surprising how well this treatment works. It really can be life changing, alleviating chronic pain patients have dealt with for years,” says Dr. Beuer.
“Genicular nerve block and ablation is something so simple yet truly effective, and we’re excited to offer it to residents throughout the region.”
To see if genicular nerve block and ablation is right for you, schedule a consultation with Dr. Beuer by calling 314.747.WELL (9355).
To learn more about the innovative procedures offered by the Pain Management Center, visit ChristianHospital.org/Pain.