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Barbara Ford

Meet Barbara Ford

As a long-time osteoarthritis (OA) sufferer, 52-year-old Batavia, Ill. resident Barbara was not surprised when she was told that, to finally get lasting relief from her OA pain, she’d have to undergo a total knee replacement on her left knee. Her family had a genetic predisposition to the condition, so she was familiar with the consequences. In 2012, she went under the knife hoping that her suffering would soon come to an end.

“I thought that I would just have the total knee replacement and that would be it—I could move on with my life without the pain I’d been experiencing for so long,” said Barbara. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.

For several months after the procedure, she was still plagued by excruciating pain in her knee. Although she was hopeful it would wane, it never did. Her mobility continued to decrease. She had to turn down shopping trips with her 20 and 22-year-old daughters—time they all cherished—and housework was a challenge. Walking her two active Australian shepherds—Jamima and Bowie—was out of the question.

She tried using prescription narcotics to help alleviate the pain, but was extremely sensitive to them and over-the-counter medications offered little to no relief. Because of this, at the end of the workday as a Dental Assistant/Office Manager, Barbara would often be reduced to tears and leaning against the office walls for stability while trying to make her way to her car.

In 2013, almost a year after her surgery with no relief from her pain, Barbara met with her surgeon to discuss her options. At this point, the pain was so intense she was forced to use a walker and cane to get around. After determining that there wasn’t an issue stemming from her surgery that was causing the pain, Barbara tried a variety of non-surgical options including cortisone shots. But nothing seemed to work long-term.

Determined to find a solution, Barbara visited several specialists and was finally referred to Dr. Timothy Lubenow, a pain management specialist at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. After hearing more about Barbara’s medical history and experience with total knee replacement, Dr. Lubenow recommended she try genicular nerve ablation with COOLIEF* Cooled Radiofrequency (RF). The COOLIEF* Cooled RF treatment from Kimberly-Clark Health Care is a minimally-invasive, non-pharmacological treatment option for those suffering from chronic pain. Barbara scheduled the procedure and received the treatment on her left knee in April 2014.

Immediately following the procedure, Barbara was shocked that the excruciating pain that had become part of her everyday life was no longer there. She returned home optimistic, but uncertain.

“I was hopeful that this was going to continue to work, but based on my past experiences, I couldn’t help but be a little skeptical. The next day, I was proved wrong. For the first time in many years, I remembered what it felt like to live without the excruciating pain in my knee,” she said.

“COOLIEF* is a great alterative for patients who suffer from OA of the knee. For example, patients who are too young or have additional medical conditions or comorbidities that make knee replacement surgery too high of a risk,” said Dr. Lubenow. “Patient care is paramount and COOLIEF* provides my patients with long lasting pain relief and eliminates the need for me to prescribe oral pain medication.”