Osteoarthritis is one of the most frequent problems occurring with the aging process. Amongst older adults, the cartilage that serves as a cushion in a knee joint wears away, leaving bones to rub against each other. It is estimated that more than half of the population older than 45 years face the problem of osteoarthritis. There are several methods of reducing the pain, though. The external treatments such as ice packs, over the counter pain relievers, and heat application are some examples. These remedies, however, work up to a certain extent. Also, they are effective when the degeneration of the cartilage is not severe. With aging, the lubrication deteriorates further, leaving no choice other than surgical intervention. In the advanced condition of osteoarthritis, Knee replacement surgery in Bangalore remains the only option. Knee replacement procedures have become quite common in the last few years.
Pain management in knee replacement surgery
There has been a tremendous advancement in the surgery. Now the procedure is quite easy and straightforward. Opioids and other painkillers reduce the discomfort significantly. Since these painkillers have specific side effects, doctors are always searching for ways to provide drug-free pain relief. Amongst the drug-free pain-relieving methods, cold therapy is quite popular. In this new and revolutionary method, doctors use tiny, compressed cartridges of Nitrous Oxide gas. The gas is injected around the area where the nerves run. The gas cools the nerve to -80 degrees. Experts say that the nerves get freeze due to the extensively low temperature, and they have to regenerate.
How does it work?
The nerves are coated by sheaths of proteins. They are known as myelin. This protective layer communicates with the brain and sends pain signals. When it gets damaged, the contact breaks. Our body rebuilds the outer layer so that the nerves can function normally. While the nerves regenerate, they cannot transmit the nerve pain. Since the time taken for nerve generation is three to four months, there is no transmission of pain.
The method is totally safe and FDA approved.
When a Knee replacement surgeon in Bangalore plans a surgery, the pain-relieving method is also decided upfront. Which method doctors use depends on the condition of the patient, complexity of the case, and so on. Of course, this method does not treat the underlying cause of the pain but puts a temporary effect on the nerves. The problem of osteoarthritis gets resolved by knee replacement surgery.
Other cooling methods for pain management
Several treatment methods have been developed in recent years to reduce pain and discomfort. Radiofrequency ablation is one of the methods. It deactivates certain nerves in the knee. The treatment is used when other conservative methods fail, and the patient is not suitable for knee replacement surgery.
It is performed on an outpatient basis. No incision is involved in it. The whole procedure takes place for less than one hour. The relief from pain lasts from three months to one year.
In another method, tiny needles are inserted into the skin, and sensory nerves around the knee are frozen. Thus, the nerves do not transmit pain signals. This method is called Cryoneuro modulation, and the effect lasts around six months. Nowadays, the Best doctors for knee replacement surgery in Bangalore use these new-age methods to relieve the pain before and after the surgical procedure. Most of the hospitals are equipped with the facilities and infrastructure to provide top-quality treatment and long-term relief from the pain and discomfort caused by osteoarthritis. The procedure gives pain when the nerves freeze. However, it is a one-time discomfort that gives total comfort for quite a long time.
Though these methods give instant relief from the pain, exercise and physical therapy are the time-tested methods for long-term benefit and improvement. Doctors work with the patients and develop a personalized exercise routine. A regular exercise routine delivers long-lasting relief and better movement.