Guilford, Conn. (WTNH) - Jack Killoy walks gingerly, with his right ankle, throbbing with pain.
He says, "The pain before I walked in from one to 10 was about a six or seven."
After weighing his options, Jack chose to get treatment from Orthopaedic Surgeon Dr. John Reach at Yale School of Medicine.
"I was getting ready for another surgical procedure which was okay if I had to, I would have done it."
In a patient exam room, Dr. Reach explains a new technique - ultrasound guided injections - which Dr. Reach co-designed.
He points to what they are observing in real time, "The blood pumping in there, that's actually the inflammatory tissue that we're trying to decrease."
Dr. Reach says, "We're able to guide the injection through imaging and we're able to place the needle, place the drug right where we'd like it to be and decrease the pain right at the point of inflammation."
Dr. Reach says that unguided local anesthetic and steroid shots are not so accurate. "When we look at it and study it, in the knee, which is a very big joint. We're only 80% accurate at getting the injections in the knee, in the shoulder, we're 30 % accurate."
So with this imaging dose delivery system, called Navigator DS, doctors can now pinpoint exactly where the pain is and increase the accuracy for treatment.
Dr. Reach says there's a virtual syringe in there. "It's going to show me, just like a regular syringe, it's already mixed in there and so this allows me to use a smaller needle than I would normally use."
There's another benefit for patients.
Dr. Reach says, "This could actually be curative for the patient and so we decrease the inflammation there and they actually are not going to need surgery potentially in the future."
It's too soon to know, if it's long lasting relief for the ice hockey coach, but for now, no pain and no restrictions.
A smiling Jack Killoy says, "I'm going to go to practice and skate with the kids."
Dr. Reach says it's a universal targeted injection for joints and soft tissue. Right now its being used in sports medicine and orthopaedics, but it could have future applications in other specialties as well.
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