New treatment helping those with knee pain

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- Cutting edge technology that literally takes less than two minutes could be the answer to helping millions of people suffering with knee pain.

“Knee pain is definitely a big problem throughout the United States,” said Dr. Neil Thakkar with Novocur Pain Management Clinic.

Osteoarthritis is a form of knee pain affecting millions. Something Annie Fain knows all about.
 
“Every lotion, potion, cream I've tried and nothing works,” Fain said.

Fain doesn't want surgery. So she turned to Thakkar. He’ll perform a new minimal invasive treatment on her left knee using radio frequency ablation.
  
“We're blocking the genicular nerves of the knee,” Thakker said. “And the genicular nerves provide or send sensory information from the knee joint up to the brain and basically that tells the knee you’re in pain.”

“What we first do is use our X-ray machine to image the knee and using this pointer I identify the nerves,” Thakker continued. “I place the radiofrequency needles through the numbed up parts of the skin.”

Once everything is set into place and Thakker knows which nerves to burn the procedure begins.
   
“This machine will do all the sensory testing, motor testing, as well as the actually burning of the nerves,” Thakker said. “I inject a little bit of numbing medicine into each needle and the burning process goes to 80 Celsius for 90 seconds.

That's right, 90 seconds. Thakker said Fain will hopefully be pain-free for the next six to 18 months.
 
“It would let me walk around without being on a walker or cane or grocery cart,” Fain said. “It would kind of put me back to my old self.”

Fain hopes to be back at work tomorrow. Some insurance companies including Medicare will cover this treatment.
      
To see if you’re a candidate, call 480-855-6686 or log onto www.novocur.com.