NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) -- If you suffer from back, knee, or hip pain you may be able to avoid surgery with a surprising fix; your footwear.
"I had surgery in the 70s on my right knee and now they're telling me that I need a replacement," Linda Spinelli told CBS 2's Dr. Max Gomez.
Spinelli did not want to go under the knife, and now she is walking with so little pain that a knee replacement is the last thing on her mind.
Her pain was eased by a pair of unusual-looking, high-top sneakers that were fitted on the bottom with rubber domes. It's part of a treatment called AposTherapy, which recently arrived in the United States.
"We aim to offload the painful areas in the knee and in the back through the chain of the joints, and to retrain the muscles to stabilize the knee, the back, the hip, the whole chain of joints, and in that manner to reduce the pain," AposTherapy chief executive officer Amit Mor explained.
The first step in treatment involves evaluating the patient's walk on a computerized a gait analyzer. Once the patient's gait has been analyzed, specially trained physical therapists can attach the right sized Apos devices to the shoe in a precise orientation to re-align the patient's knees, hips, and back.
"They wear the device, the shoe, for an hour a day, and walk five to ten minutes as they cook or as they work in the office," Mor said.
Over a period of a few months that is enough to re-educate the muscles to unload the painful joints. So far the therapy has worked for 50,000 patients in Europe and Asia.
"I don't know that I'd wear that out on the street, but they are very comfortable. So, you can wear them around the apartment building and things like that," Spinelli said.
AposTherapy isn't cheap. It costs $5,000 for a year worth of treatment and is not yet covered by insurance outside of Israel, Britain, and Singapore.
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