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How Peripheral Nerve Stimulation Can Alleviate Pain After Total Knee Arthroplasty

While the goal of any surgery is to relieve pain and improve function, the initial recovery period is often quite unbearable, and sometimes, lasting pain ensues from failed surgeries. Our team at US Neuropathy Centers utilizes peripheral nerve stimulation in both cases, providing our patients with lasting pain relief. 

What is a total knee arthroplasty?

A total knee arthroplasty is simply a total knee replacement. The word “arthroplasty” means surgical reconstruction or replacement of a joint. During a total knee arthroplasty, your surgeon replaces your knee joint with an artificial one. 

Also known as “knee resurfacing,” a knee replacement helps you regain lost mobility and relieves chronic pain. But first, you have to endure a long recovery period and post-surgical pain — and sometimes lasting pain from a surgery that didn’t go well, which is where peripheral nerve stimulation comes in. 

What is peripheral nerve stimulation? 

Peripheral nerve stimulation treats chronic pain by way of a small device that sends electrical signals to the nerves in your body (not your brain or spinal cord, which is the case with spinal cord stimulation). 

Your provider at US Neuropathy Centers implants the small electrical device near one of your peripheral nerves. In the case of a knee arthroplasty, your surgeon implants the stimulator somewhere in your leg. When turned on, the device emits electrical pulses that feel like mild tingles or slight numbness, medically known as paresthesias and colloquially called “pins and needles.” 

This electrical stimulation masks and intercepts the pain signals that your peripheral nerves are attempting to send to your brain: When pain signals can’t reach your brain, you don’t feel any pain. 

How will peripheral nerve stimulation help me?

Peripheral nerve stimulation can benefit anyone who has chronic pain, but clinical studies show that it’s a particularly effective treatment for pain after knee arthroplasty. 

One study suggests that peripheral nerve stimulation is extremely effective during the initial recovery period, noting that the average pain score for all subjects was less than 4 (out of 10) in the first two post-op weeks. Another study suggests that utilizing peripheral nerve stimulation after knee surgery can reduce opioid use in patients.

To find out if you’re a good candidate for peripheral nerve stimulation, get in touch with US Neuropathy Centers today. Schedule a consultation appointment by calling our Mariettea or Atlanta, Georgia, office. Or request an appointment with our online booking tool.

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