NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Imagine having knee pain for decades, and then having it all disappear with a quick trip to the doctor’s office.
As CBS 2’s Emily Smith reported, doctors are actually freezing away the pain.
Patient Leslie Griffin has suffered from knee pain since she was 20 years old.
“Within the last year, I’ve been doing more falling, and more – it’s really an excruciating pain now,” she said.
Griffin suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that causes joints to deteriorate. The disease prompted the need for knee replacements 15 years ago.
The procedure helped until Griffin slipped and fell. Now, she needs canes and walkers to do anything.
“Now that I’m focusing on myself, I realize all the pain is here. It’s not a joke; not clowning. I’m in pain,” she said.
Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Vinod Dasa will perform another knee replacement on Griffin.
“Once we freeze the nerve, it stops transmitting the pain, and you’re feeling much better,” he said.
The technique is called Iovera, and it uses nitrous oxide canisters to freeze tiny needles to minus 126 degrees. Once injected into the skin, the needles freeze the pain nerves and create instant relief.
“I’ve had some patients that can last for a few weeks. I’ve had other patients six to eight months of pain relief,” Dasa said. “No chemicals, no drug, no nothing – we’re just taking advantage of the natural ability; the body’s natural response to cold, and putting it to our advantage.”
Griffin has one mission – to be able to step down the aisle proudly at her daughter’s wedding without a cane or walker.
So far, Iovera has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for pain, but some doctors are also using if for headaches. In Europe and the U.K., doctors have even begun using it like botox, but without the chemical.
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