New therapy is helping eliminate need for pain medication

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Mo. – Doctors are constantly searching for ways to lower pain and reduce the risk for their patients.

A new “Nerve-Freezing” treatment will do just that by helping eliminate a need for pain medication.

“I live on a farm, got cattle and stuff so I got to fool with them every day,” Pat Theurer, a farmer said.

The responsibility of caring for his farm means an active lifestyle forTheurer, but his leg started giving him problems a few weeks ago.

“I started walking with a gimp, and my leg was bowing a little bit, so I decided I better see an orthopedic surgeon,” Theurer said.

The result was a recommendation for a total knee replacement.

“I’ve heard horror stories from people not getting along with it, and being quite painful,” Theurer said.

But thanks to a new technique called Cryoneurolosis: nerve-freezing treatment, it should reduce that pain. Theurer’s surgery is a few weeks away, and Dr. Cody Giedd is administering the procedure using this.

“What is does, it’s a little handheld device that supplies cold therapy that retreats sensory nerves to the patient’s knee that we’re going to be operating on,” Giedd said. “Basically we’re kind of numbing the nerve with cold therapy. Directly it’s applying a little ice ball about the size of a tic-tac right above that nerve. Basically we’re just kind of stunning the nerve prior to therapy.”

“It felt like I was getting several shots at one time and a little achy along with it.”

Patients can usually feel the difference immediately afterward.

That cold will fade away as the patient heals up from the knee surgery.

Perhaps the biggest benefit is reducing the need for pain pills.

“With the opioid crisis that’s going on, anytime we can relieve any part of that it will be a better outcome not only for the patient, but for everyone involved,” Giedd said.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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