Maryland Pain Specialists

Genicular Nerve Ablation for Knee Pain

Knee Pain TreatmentGenicular nerve ablation is a way for MPS to provide long lasting relief of chronic knee pain. Knee pain can result from many different causes. It is often osteoarthritic and is treated with the usual OTC medications such as Advil and Celebrex. Knee injections are also an option along with knee replacement surgery. Unfortunately, not everyone finds relief from those treatments. Some people cannot take medications because they need to take a blood thinner like Plavix or Eliquis. Even knee replacement does not relieve 100% of the pain in 100% of the people. In that case, MPS can alleviate the pain in the knee by altering the way that you feel that pain.

Sensation from most of the knee joint itself is from 3 small nerves in the leg. We can find those nerves under X-ray and anesthetize (numb) them temporarily or cut them using small needles that get hot at their tips. The nerve cutting is called a radiofrequency ablation because we use radiofrequency electricity to heat the area. Initially, we would perform a temporary nerve block to see how much benefit you might get from the ablation. If you experience good relief from the nerve block, then the ablation is done on a different visit at the surgery center. The nerves will stop working over the next few weeks and patients report long lasting relief.

Genicular RFA is appropriate to consider for knee pain that has not responded to usual care. That includes:

  • Patients with moderate to severe osteoarthritis
  • Patients who cannot have a knee replacement due to other medical conditions
  • Patients who have had a knee replacement and still have pain

Helpful Links

https://www.asra.com/asra-news/article/162/genicular-nerve-denervation-for-osteoart
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6635137/

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