New treatment brings knee and hip pain relief

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- A newly approved therapy for knee and hip pain called Coolief is bringing relief to patients with chronic pain.

For more than 20 years Michele Bobe suffered chronic knee pain.

"Nineteen years ago I was in a car accident where I had a green light and was going through an intersection and somebody ran a light on the other side in a truck and T-boned my car," Bobe explained.

Her knees were so badly damaged that she had a total of six surgeries over the years, but none of them erased the pain she was feeling.

"The pain was basically unbearable, and I was basically taking Tylenol or Advil like it was candy."

But worse, still, was the fact that she couldn't enjoy everyday activities with her daughter.

"My daughter has gotten used to mommy coming home from work, going upstairs after having made dinner and just sitting," recalled Bobe.

Because she was considered too young for a knee replacement, her orthopedic surgeon sent her to Dr. Shehzad Choudry with Carolina Pain Consultants, an affiliate of American Anesthesiology, at the Rex Pain Management Center in Raleigh.

"What we specifically did with her is we placed these little needles around the joint of her knee and used radiofrequency energy to burn and kill the knees, the nerves that go to the knee, and what this does is it makes the knee basically numb, and the result is you get less knee pain," Dr. Choudry explained.

The procedure is called "radiofrequency ablation," but it's also referred to as "Coolief."

This therapy has actually been around for years and was typically used to treat spinal and neck pain. But just within the past year, it was cleared to be used for knee and hip pain, and Rex was the very first center in the Triangle to do so.

The treatment usually gives patients relief for anywhere from six months to a year, and Dr. Choudry says it's good for a variety of patients.

"Any type of knee pain is [something] people would be candidates for, patients who've had failed knee surgery, knee replacements, they're candidates for it," he said.

For Bobe, it was the answer to her prayers, allowing her to finally live pain free.

"I took my daughter fishing, we've gone to parks now without a problem, I'll walk all over the place, we'll go on greenways, and it's just nice to have my life back," Bobe said with a smile.

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