According to a study presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), a new treatment shows hope for chronic arthritis sufferers. This amazing new treatment offers lasting pain relief for patients suffering from moderate to severe arthritis in their hip and shoulder joints. Researchers said the procedure could help reduce reliance on addictive opiates. A recent study showed that patients suffering shoulder pain from debilitating arthritis had a decrease of pain by 85% and an increase in function by 74%.  Patients suffering from hip pain had a pain reduction of 70% and a gain in function of approximately 66%. This new alternative procedure offers hope for those who have been suffering from moderate to severe chronic pain related to osteoarthritis.  Patients who are ineligible for joint replacement therapy because of health problems and others who choose not to have such a major surgery may now have a new option.

In the past, there were few options for people who suffered from osteoarthritis pain who had become unresponsive to anesthetic-corticosteroid injections over long periods of time. The answer for many had become opioid pain medications which carry a great risk of addiction. It has been reported that a Doctor from the Radiology Department at Emory University School of Medicine and colleagues have been researching and studying the application of an interventional radiology treatment called cooled radiofrequency ablation. This treatment involves the placement of needles around hip and shoulder joints where there is advanced degenerative arthritis.  The needles are placed where the main sensory nerves exist in these joints. Nerves are treated with a low-grade current that stuns them; this radiofrequency helps slow the transmission of pain to the patient’s brain.

Patients did not report any procedure-related complications. Patients reported that they experienced a significant decrease in pain and an increase in function after the treatment. Research and studies continue in relation to other health issues and these types of treatments. Shoulder, knee, and hip articulations are reported to make up 95% of all arthritis related cases.

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