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Successful Joint Denervation Surgery Solves Woman’s Knee Pain

Marie Powell was having significant trouble. A broken leg and other complications caused severe pain in her left knee. Despite a knee replacement in 2010, her pain persisted. Doctor after doctor told her there was nothing more they could do. Eventually, she was referred to Dr. Michael Rose for help.

An expert in peripheral nerve surgery, Dr. Rose specializes in the treatment of peripheral neuropathy, nerve compression syndromes, and chronic joint pain. The surgery for chronic joint pain involves cutting the nerves that are the source of the pain in the joint. This is known as joint denervation. Relief is often rapid and significant for a majority of well-selected patients. Joint denervation is a simple outpatient procedure, and most patients return to full activities within 4-6 weeks.

Powell, a resident of Brigantine, New Jersey, is one of them. Dr. Rose cut the retinacular nerves on both sides of Powell’s left knee. “He relieved me of a lot of pain,” says Powell of Dr. Rose.

“Marie had been to a number of doctors who correctly assessed that there was nothing wrong with the knee itself. However, the pain persisted, and no one knew what to make of that. Fortunately, Marie found me, and I was able to diagnose that her trouble was nerve pain coming from the joint itself, and we were able to treat it using the advanced techniques for joint denervation successfully we use in our practice.”

Although relatively novel (Dr. Rose is among only a handful of surgeons to perform specialized techniques used for nerve decompression surgeries such as joint denervation), this procedure has actually been in practice since the 1950s. However, it is only recently that this technique has been more widely applied. Affected joints treated are mostly knees and ankles (weight bearing and constant use exacerbate the pain in these joints), but also the wrist, shoulder, or elbow can be involved. The ultimate result is that those who have suffered chronic pain can get back to normal life. Marie Powell, who says she can now walk comfortably, can testify to that.