Radiofrequency Ablation is Proving to be Game Changer in Chronic Spine and Joint Pain Management

Delhi-based IPSC Pain & Spine Hospital, a state-of-the-art hospital chain in India, in association with Avanos Medical, a leading medical devices company, conducted a two-day Masterclass for orthopedic surgeons and interventional pain specialists to understand and learn about this therapy area and technology.

L to R: Mr. Samrat Banarjee, Country Manager, Avanos, Dr. Swati Bhat, MD Director IPSC India, Dr. (Maj.) Pankaj Surange, CEO and Founder, IPSC India, Dr. R. P. Ghedoo, Chief Guest

Chronic pain can be caused due to multiple underlying reasons and must have a multi-disciplinary approach to ensure prevention of recurrence. According to WHO, the prevalence of chronic pain globally is estimated to be 30% by 2030. It generally affects the musculoskeletal system consisting of back, shoulder, neck, and knee, out of which osteoarthritis of the knee has a high prevalence of 22-39% in India.

Explaining how the increasing incidence of chronic pain is changing the dynamics of pain therapy, Dr. (Maj.) Pankaj Surange, Director, IPSC Pain & Spine Hospital, said, “Chronic pain, different from acute pain, is largely misunderstood. It is mostly noticed amongst the aged population alongside the young adult population, owing to their prolonged sitting and driving habits, who mostly complain of pain in the back and knees. While pain killers and physiotherapy are deployed for immediate relief, these are not long-term solutions. Such chronic discogenic pain tends to make the patients distressed, resulting in poor treatment compliance. They are not typically candidates for surgeries but need long-term pain relief. This is where non-surgical procedures like Radiofrequency Ablation make a difference.”

Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) is mainly performed on patients suffering from spondylosis and sacroiliac joint pain, chronic pain in the knee, back and neck, pain due to cancer, facial pain due to trigeminal neuralgia, and peripheral nerve pain. In this day-care procedure, radio waves are used to create heat that targets the diseased tissues and sensory nerves to numb them and prevent them from sending pain signals to the brain. This results in reduced or no pain, improved mobility, faster recovery, reduced need for pain medication and the ability to resume regular activities within a couple of days. Cooled RFA is the advanced form of RFA, wherein the radiofrequency generator transmits a small current of RF energy through an insulated electrode placed within the joint’s tissue. It delivers water-cooled energy through RF electrodes and creates a targeted lesion to ablate and deactivate the sensory nerves while leaving the motor nerves intact to preserve function.

Cooled RFA has now been brought to India by Avanos Medical, which has installed its first machine at IPSC Pain and Spine Hospital in Dwarka, Delhi. Dr. (Maj.) Pankaj Surange said, “Since the time I have been using cooled RFA over conventional RFA on patients with joint pain, osteoarthritis of the knee, shoulder pain and for biaculoplasty for the discogenic pain, I have hardly seen patients returning with recurrence of pain. It has not only proven beneficial for patients in terms of pain relief, reduced time for healing without any blood loss and pain due to surgery or undergoing the risk of anesthesia, but also helped us healthcare practitioners to diagnose and manage such chronic pain better. RFA is very effective once the pain generator is correctly diagnosed, with success rate as high as 95%. It is far superior compared to steroid injections whose effect lasts only 3 to 4 weeks compared to 1-2 years for RFA.”

Dr. RPS Gehdoo, Head – Accreditation Committee, National Board of Examinations, the Chief Guest for the event, said, “RF technology can also be used to manage patients suffering from cancer pain. This reduces the requirement for opioids significantly.”

Elaborating on the need for medical devices with Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) technology in India, Samrat Banerjee, Country Manager – India and ME&A, Avanos Medical India, said, “Chronic backache or knee joint pain is a prominent health condition in a country like India where approximately 80% of the population reports of disc degeneration, skeletal irregularities and chronic knee pain in their lifetime. In fact, 70% of the burden of chronic pain is attributed to pain and degeneration of the knee joints leading to Total Knee Replacements. Such chronic pain needs a multi-modal pain management strategy to provide significant pain relief to the patients.”

He added, “To address this requirement, we at Avanos Medical have Coolief Cooled RFA, a USFDA approved minimally invasive radiofrequency ablation treatment method which provides long-lasting and more effective pain relief in comparison to thermal RFA and Intra-articular steroid injections. Like our distinguished association with IPSC India, we aim to reach out to and associate with all medical colleges as well as government and private hospitals to make this technology available for patients. We have robust plans in place to conduct more such training programs to create awareness amongst pain physicians and orthopedic consultants to adopt this technology for the benefit of patients.”

The recent news of tennis superstar Rafael Nadal opting for radiofrequency ablation as the new treatment method for his foot injury, instead of considering a surgery, has created ripples of change in chronic pain management across the world.

Patients availing Radiofrequency Ablation therapy can now opt for reimbursements through healthcare insurance policies.

About IPSC India

IPSC Pain and Spine Hospital is a state-of-the-art hospital and center of excellence for Minimally Invasive Procedures for spine, joint, and chronic pain providing the patients with the benefit of smaller incisions, less pain, shorter hospital stay, faster recovery, less scarring & significantly lower complication rate. Established as a daycare set up in 2012, IPSC now runs a super specialty surgical Hospital in the heart of Dwarka Sub City (New Delhi) and a Daycare center in Bengaluru. It engages today more than 10 consultants from various specializations under the umbrella of pain medicine and MIPSI procedures and has treated more than 40,000 patients in its 10 years of existence. IPSC has also worked to promote pain medicine among physicians and has trained more than 1500 doctors through its varsity and training programs. Today IPSC stands as a distinguished brand in the specialization and attracts patients & students from over the globe, especially from the Middle East.

About Avanos Medical

Avanos is a medical device company focused on delivering clinically superior breakthrough solutions that will help patients get back to the things that matter. We believe a difference in our products, combined with a difference in how we work, communicate and partner, can change the entire world. We are committed to creating the next generation of innovative healthcare solutions which will address our most important healthcare needs, such as reducing the use of opioids while helping patients move from surgery to recovery. From digestive and respiratory health to pain management and IV therapy, our products represent the difference we try to infuse in everything we do. We develop, manufacture and market recognized brands in more than 90 countries.

For more details, visit us at www.avanos.in and www.mycoolief.com.

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