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The Coolief procedure is a minimally invasive treatment to relieve arthritis knee pain using radio energy waves to interrupt pain signals. Coolief is ideal for the management of osteoarthritis-related pain when surgery is not an option due to medical reasons. It has been shown to provide several months of pain relief eliminating the need for daily pain medication.

Coolief uses heat from radio waves to neutralize specific nerves like standard radiofrequency ablation, but it also provides a cooling effect that safely allows more radiofrequency energy to be transmitted to the tissues resulting in longer-lasting pain relief.


Osteoarthritis is a common condition that can occur with aging causing pain and limited joint motion. When pain and disability become severe, joint replacement surgery is typically recommended.  However, surgery is not safe for everyone such as the elderly and overweight. Alternate treatment options such as pain medication, cortisone injections, or arthroscopic debridement often do not produce satisfactory relief. The Coolief procedure is therefore highly recommended as it is minimally invasive and provides long-lasting relief.

Surgical procedure

The Coolief procedure is performed as an outpatient procedure. Under image guidance, needles and water-cooled electrodes are inserted at specific points in the painful joint to target nerves responsible for sending pain signals to the brain. Energy passes from the needles to the nerves preventing the transmission of pain signals. The cooling effect of the water reduces damage to the surrounding tissues. Following the procedure, you may experience some pain or discomfort at the needle sites which can be relieved by applying ice packs or taking pain medication.


Coolief is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure with quick recovery.

The treatment area affected by the Coolief method is larger than conventional radiofrequency ablation. This ensures prolonged pain relief as the nerves take longer to resume normal function. The larger treatment area also helps in cases where nerve anatomy is complex.

The Coolief procedure has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of knee pain due to osteoarthritis after demonstrating better pain relief than steroid injections provide in clinical trials.

Risks and complications

Coolief is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure with a quick recovery. Potential complications associated with its use include infection, nerve damage, failure to relieve pain, and increased pain.


Though Coolief does not treat or cure arthritis, it can provide effective pain relief with improved joint function and mobility over a longer period of time.