Area Hospital Combats Opioid Crisis and ‘Freezes Knee Pain’

Omaha, Neb. – With opioid dependency on the rise, an exciting new treatment to knee pain has the medical community very optimistic.

The treatment, known as iovera, uses the body’s natural response to cold to treat knee pain and turn off pain receptors at the site. Using a needle cooled with nitrous oxide, commonly referred to as laughing gas, surgeons are able to pinpoint the peripheral nerves in the knee to mask the pain – all within a clinical office or procedural environment.

Orthopaedic Surgeon Dr. Joshua Urban says the early results are promising, especially when performed prior to a total knee replacement.

OrthoNebraska, who performed over 1,500 inpatient orthopaedic procedures in 2017 alone, is the first facility in the region to perform the treatment. Orthopaedic Surgeon Dr. Joshua Urban says the early results are promising, especially when performed prior to a total knee replacement.

“I’ve been fortunate to perform several of these treatments in clinic and have seen first hand its ability to significantly reduce knee pain.” Dr. Urban goes on to say “A total knee replacement is a major surgery that can be quite painful. With the help of iovera, we have been able to decrease the use of narcotics and pain following the surgery.”

OrthoNebraska is committed to doing their part to combat the growing opioid crisis. This is just one of many efforts to decrease the use of opioids at OrthoNebraska. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports 42,000 fatal opioid-related overdoses in 2016 alone.

“Freezing the pain for the first few months following surgery is a game changer. It allows us to accelerate the rehabilitation process and reduces the likelihood of dependency on pills following the procedure,” explains Dr. Urban.

The nerve does regenerate after two a few months and the treatment wears off, returning all feeling back to the site.

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