A relaxing walk with the dog became an exercise in futility for Steve Peters. Severe pain made it nearly impossible.
“I had arthritis in both knees, I had both knees replaced. The right knee is fine, but the left knee has been giving me problems,” says Peters.
Following three knee operations he was running out of options.
“I’ve been on pain medication ever since,” says Peters.
Peters wasn’t willing to give surgery another go, but agreed to try a new laser therapy.
“It’s an additional tool that we have to be able to treat patients. Help reduce swelling, reduce pain, improve wound healing,” says Dr. Mark Farmer, orthopedic surgeon on Lee Memorial Health System’s medical staff.
It may look futuristic, using a swipe of laser light to help heal an injury or ailment inside the body. But this laser is FDA approved for temporary relief of muscle and joint pain, stiffness, arthritis and muscle spasm. It also increases blood circulation.
“It can stimulate cells to reduce inflammation. By reducing that swelling, we can improve the function of the muscles to do what they’re supposed to do and hopefully rehab patients and get them better quicker,” says Dr. Farmer.
With a dose of skepticism, Peters prepared for several sessions.
“And after the first treatment, I walked away pain free. The first time in eight years,” says Peters.
Approved as a therapy. The treatment is not a cure in itself and doesn’t work on bones. What it does is targets pain sources with a laser focus.
“What it allows us to do is give patients another choice in their treatment regimen. I’m a big believer if we don’t have to do surgery on people and there are other ways to treat people, they’re better off,” says Dr. Farmer.
It was the solution Peters was searching for.
“I’m able to walk further and more often. And I don’t need pain mediation anymore,” says Peters.