Chronic Joint PainWhether the origin of pain is due to trauma, arthritis, or previous surgery on the joint, the final common pathway for the pain signal leaving the joint is through sensory nerves. These small sensory nerves exit the bone, cartilage, ligaments, and joint capsule to form larger nerves that carry the pain signal toward the spinal cord. Commonly, these small nerves are directly injured in a fall or indirectly from a previous operation on the joint that causes them to continually send pain signals.
Options for Joint PainThe first step in evaluating chronic joint pain is to schedule an appointment with a medical or surgical specialist interested in Sports Medicine, Orthopedic Surgery, or Podiatric Foot and Ankle Surgery. They will examine your joint and possibly order and X-ray or MRI to ensure the joint is mechanically stable. Your doctor may order anti-inflammatory medications or recommend physical therapy. If your joint pain persists, a consultation with a pain management specialist may provide non-surgical options for pain relief. Are there surgical options for my chronic joint pain? If your joint is mechanically stable and your pain persists, you may be a candidate for partial joint denervation surgery at Florida Plastic Surgery Group. Partial joint denervation surgery is a surgical technique to disrupt only the damaged nerves carrying pain signals from the joint. Following partial joint denervation surgery, the body is able to sense the position, location, orientation, and movement of the body in relation to the joint. As the function of proprioception is not disrupted, there is no loss of motor function. Partial joint denervation surgery offers complete or near complete relief of your chronic joint pain. Oftentimes, range of motion improves as the pain signal is gone and activity levels can increase. Which joints can be treated with partial joint denervation surgery? The shoulder, elbow, wrist, knee, and ankle are commonly injured joints that may be surgically treated with partial joint denervation surgery.
The ProcessAm I a candidate for partial joint denervation surgery? After ensuring the joint is mechanically stable, your surgeon will perform a nerve block to identify the source of your joint pain. The nerve block is performed in the office setting, similar to a dental block performed by your dentist to alleviate your toothache. The nerve block targets the nerves surrounding the joint and does not involve an injection into the joint. If your pain is significantly relieved by the nerve block, then partial joint denervation surgery can be up to 90% successful. I have chronic joint pain, what is the next step? Prior to the initial consultation:
- Complete our chronic joint pain questionnaire
- Obtain your records from prior treating physicians outlining previous treatment or diagnostic studies pertinent to your chronic joint pain
- Our surgeons will review your history with you, perform a physical examination, and answer all your questions and concerns
- Our surgeons will perform a diagnostic nerve block to identify if your chronic joint pain is neural in origin and can be surgically treated