Genicular Nerve Blocks/ Radiofrequency Neurotomy of Knee Joint
A Genicular Nerve Block/ Radiofrequency (RFA) Neurotomy of Knee Joint is an outpatient procedure for treating knee pain. Chronic knee osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the most common diseases of advanced age. Most cases progress to total knee joint replacement, however some patients do not meet criteria for surgery or are just not interested in total knee replacement. Genicular Nerve Block/ Radiofrequency Neurotomy of knee joint is an effective, non-surgical option within reach of those suffering from chronic knee pain. It is an effective, minimally invasive treatment option targeting nerves that are causing pain in the knee and offers a short recovery.
- The knee is surrounded by sensory nerves call the genicular nerves.
- The genicular nerves provide nerve supply to the knee joints. When the knee joint is injured, the genicular nerves send a signal to the brain that the joint is injured.
- You may feel pain if a knee joint is injured. You may have pain that may last longer than two months.
- The common test that is usually done is a x-ray which may show arthritis of the knee joint but will not show what is causing pain. The best way to diagnose knee pain is to block the pain signal in a genicular nerve with a local anesthetic.
- After a diagnostic tests with local anesthetic, Radiofrequency Neurotomy of the knee joint uses energy to disrupt the nerve function. During the procedure, the nerve that supplies the knee joint is targeted. Once the nerve is disrupted, it can no longer transmit pain from the injured knee joint.
During the procedure
- The physician numbs your skin with local anesthetic. Under X-ray guidance, a thin needle is advance near the knee joint. To ensure proper placement of the needle, the physician will stimulate the nerve, which may cause muscle twitching and provoke some of your pain.
- Once proper position has been confirmed, the nerve is numbed with local anesthetic. The radiofrequency energy is then use to disrupt the genicular nerve for approximately 2 minutes and 30 seconds per nerve treated. The procedure will be repeated for each additional nerves.
After the procedure
- You will be monitored for a half an hour after the Radiofrequency Neurotomy of Knee Joint. When you are ready to leave, the staff will give you discharge instructions.
- You may experience some discomfort at the radiofrequency site for a short period, but this discomfort can be treated with common over-the-counter medication. You should take it easy for the rest of the day. You will most likely experience maximum pain relief in one to two weeks.
- The genicular nerves regenerate after an RFA, but how long this takes varies. Your pain may or may not return when the nerves regenerate. If it does, another RFA can be done.