It’s a group no one wants to be a part of, however as many as 10 million Americans are members: sharing a diagnosis of osteoarthritis. Caused by the wearing away of cartilage over the years, osteoarthritis frequently impacts bigger joints, like the knees, and is often debilitating to a senior’s quality of life. With three primary recommended treatment solutions – over-the-counter medications to help reduce inflammation such as ibuprofen, prescription painkillers such as tramadol, or physical therapy – a good number of those with osteoarthritis have reconciled themselves to a life of limping, suffering, modified activity levels, and of course, chronic pain.
And while knee replacement surgery can be beneficial for some people, not all arthritis sufferers are eligible; or, the potential risks associated with this type of invasive treatment are too great, especially for the elderly. Now, however, an exciting new procedure has entered the arena, and offers great relief from chronic pain and without the risks or complications of the other alternatives. Referred to as cooled radio frequency ablation (“Coolief”), the treatment 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 impressive reduction in discomfort, inflammation and stiffness also makes it possible for many patients to reduce their dependence on prescription medications and then to return to – or start – a more active lifestyle, contributing to better overall health.
Very similar to injections of cortisone, long-lasting but temporary relief from aches and pains is normally realized for a duration of around six to twelve months. Necessitating only local anesthetic, the treatment is conducted on an outpatient basis within as little as 40 minutes. Risks and recovery time are minimal, still it’s important to note that the treatment doesn’t change, slow, or end the progress of osteoarthritis. However for many, quality of everyday life is greatly improved as discomfort is reduced significantly.
Are you or a senior loved one dealing with the adverse effects of osteoarthritis? Just a little help goes a long way towards enhancing quality of life for older adults with chronic issues such as osteoarthritis and various other conditions of aging, whether through helping with cleaning and laundry, taking care of grocery shopping and preparing meals, making sure prescribed medicines are taken exactly as prescribed, or offering friendly companionship to brighten up the day. Call CareWorks Health Services of Orange County, CA at (949) 859-4700 to learn more ways that we can be of assistance!