Freeman News

Dramatic Pain Relief with OsteoCool™ Treatment of Bone Tumors

June 04, 2021

Cancer Patient Shares Story of Extraodinary Pain Relief after Neurosurgery

Joplin, Mo – Janice Grainger celebrated her 70th birthday on May 30 with a new lease on life. Grainger had finally found relief from painful bone tumors through the OsteoCool™ RF ablation procedure and Kyphon™ Balloon Kyphoplasty. Freeman Health System is the first and only hospital in the region offering the pain-relieving procedure.

“I was so excited not to feel pain,” said Grainger. “I was taking more hydrocodone for pain than I wanted to. I would have spasms in my back that hurt so much I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t lay down or get up from bed without pain, and eventually I couldn’t cook for myself.” 

All that changed after Grainger visited Dr. Atman Shah with the Freeman Cornell-Beshore Cancer Institute. He recommended she visit a Freeman neurosurgeon to get the OsteoCool RF ablation procedure and Kyphon Balloon Kyphoplasty.

“OsteoCool has led to immediate pain relief for cancer patients,” said Dr. Shah. “It can be performed before or after radiation therapy, and it can be done in many cancers where metastasis has occurred.”

For cancer patients, tumors that have metastasized, or spread to surrounding bone can affect quality of life, producing complications such as pain, fractures and decreased mobility. In some cases, the pain makes it difficult for patients to continue with radiation or other cancer treatments.

With OsteoCool, one or two small incisions are made near the location of the tumor. Sizing tools create a pathway into the bone. Then radiofrequency (RF) ablation uses alternating, low-power current to generate heat, which a probe delivers to the tumor to intentionally dry out and kill cancerous cells.

Grainger, who was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2015, had three compression fractures  in her back from bone tumors.

Freeman Neurosurgeon Dr. Joshua Sweaney performed the OsteoCool procedure on Grainger along with the vertebral-stabilizing procedure, called Kyphon Balloon Kyphoplasty.

That procedure is done using the same incision sites and inserting an orthopaedic balloon to raise the collapsed vertebra creating a cavity. The space is then filled with a special surgical cement to support the surrounding bone and prevent further collapse.

Dr. Shah is hopeful the procedure can soon be utilized by orthopaedic surgeons for skeletal metastases away from the spine. And Grainger, who can now go shopping with her sister in Joplin, said she would recommend it to everyone in pain from their tumors.

“I suffered so long with extreme pain in my back, and it helped instantly,” Grainger said.

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