Orthopedic surgeon treats migraine sufferers with unique procedure

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Like mother, like daughter.  Mandi Moehnke & Riley are sports fanatics, love the outdoors, and both suffer from debilitating migraine headaches.

Mandi Moehnke said, "Riley is 15 and she has had migraines since age 11. And just recently in November she started having seizures. It would start as a migraine and go into a full blown seizure. "

There are an estimated 36-million migraine sufferers in the U.S. and roughly a third are not satisfied with their current treatment regimen.

Riley Moehnke said, "I've tried caffeine, Snickers, hot shower, cold shower, heating pad, ice pad. I've tried probably everything. Medications, pain relievers, muscle relaxers."

Egyptians and pharaohs drilled holes in the head to relieve pain. Many of today's migraine treatments aren't much better.

Dr. Robert Unsell told us, "They have a needle. It's about 3-4 inches and goes in the front of the ear. Behind the cheek and they can reach the ganglion up here in the nasal cavity."

OSSO orthopedic surgeon, Robert Unsell is trying something new.

It's a unique procedure his wife discovered during a chance meeting on a cross country flight.

Unsell said, "My daughter has migraines. My wife was on a plane. She was sitting next to one of the original investors. They started talking. Next thing I know I've got the guy here and he's teaching me how to do it. "

Dr. Unsell inserts a catheter into the nasal pathway, then sprays a small dose of numbing medication to the "Ganglion" nerve bundle. That leads to a reduction in the release of pain molecules in the brain.

Shantel Baisden is getting the treatment, in hopes of eliminating her episodic migraines.

Baisden said, "It makes you feel bad. Because you want to be there for these people. And I want to be dependable."

The procedure only takes minutes and patients say it is relatively painless.

Riley Moehnke told us, "If you've ever gotten into the pool and got water up your nose diving in the pool? That's about what it felt like. An unnatural sensation. But not particularly painful."

Though still early, the results are encouraging.

Of 2000 patients who have already been treated, 98% experienced 2 or more months of headache relief.

Dr. Unsell said, "I think this is going to be a life changer for a lot of people. In the field of economics, it'll save people a lot of money. The medicine and visits to the ER are costly. Big picture, this is an inexpensive procedure. "

Dr. Unsell believes this new and simple treatment will become the standard, restoring hope for the millions who suffer from life-stealing migraine attacks.

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