When Eric Lundin fixed his knee, it helped his whole body.
(And his tennis game.)
Eric has arthritis in both knees. He’s been getting injections of hyaluronic acid for over 10 years to lubricate the joints and manage the pain. His orthopedist, Dr. Hans Bengtson, also helped Eric manage pain with medications, moderation in activities, and home exercises.
Like a good pair of tennis shoes, the full range of treatments wore out. “I just couldn’t move anymore on the tennis court,” Eric says.
Dr. Bengtson suggested COOLIEF radiofrequency ablation, a new non-surgical procedure that uses water-cooled technology to safely deactivate the nerves in the knee responsible for sending pain signals to the brain. Dr. Bengtson referred Eric to sports medicine specialist Scott Koehler, MD to perform the procedure.
First, lidocaine injections pinpoint and numb exposed nerve endings to confirm that deactivating those nerves will relieve the pain. Then, the nerve endings are ablated (cauterized) to disrupt nerve pathways for long-term relief.
“The next day I walked four miles, pain free,” Eric says.
Even better: Eric could now do physical therapy . . . and prevent arthritis in his hips.
Knee pain had thrown off Eric’s gait, causing his hip and gluteal muscles to atrophy. Physical therapist Joel Beithon, PT worked with Eric to strengthen his hip, gluteal, core, and knee muscles, improving Eric’s stride and his neuromuscular control. “I couldn’t have done physical therapy without the knee procedure first,” Eric says. “Now I walk 3-6 miles every day, pain-free.”
Eric has gotten “nearly complete pain relief,” he says. (COOLIEF can’t treat the arthritis under his kneecap, so he still has minimal discomfort there.) His only side effect: a bruise from the needle that cleared up in about a week. “Dr. Koehler clearly knows what he’s doing with this new procedure. I’m so grateful that Northfield Hospital makes this possible so I can have it again if I need it.”
COOLIEF effects last up to 12 months and can be repeated multiple times. “That means in the coming years, I can have a really good quality of life,” Eric says.
Eric had been considering full knee replacement at a relatively young age, in his late 50s. He credits Dr. Bengtson for advising him to wait. “Maybe I’ll eventually need knee replacement; if I do that when I’m older, the joints can last me the rest of my life.”
Eric eagerly recommends COOLIEF. “There’s nothing to lose,” he says. “Even with severe arthritis, if it can take away even half the pain, you’re that much more mobile.” Staying mobile is key to preventing further arthritis and other health problems.
“I’m just so excited,” Eric says. “This gives me hope that my quality of life – and my tennis game – will be lots better.”
Learn more about: Orthopedics and Physical Therapy