Chronic knee osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the most common diseases of advanced age. With up to 20 million adults in the US suffering from OA of the knee¹, close to 700,000 cases progress to total knee joint replacement.² However, there exists a large demographic of chronic joint pain patients who are not candidates for invasive procedures due to BMI, age and other comorbidities. Alternative therapies such (as) arthroscopic debridement or injections are associated with less than optimal clinical outcomes.
Geniculate Nerve Ablation
For patients with chronic osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease of the knee, home remedies and medication regimes are not always effective. In many cases surgery may be very effective, however, in cases where the patient is not a good surgical candidate, for example due to age or the existence of two or more chronic conditions (comorbidities), there is another option to treat their knee pain. The genicular nerve block and radiofrequency ablation (neurotomy) provide very effective therapeutic alternatives to surgery. The geniculate nerves are the nerves that sense pain in the knee.
Both the Genicular Nerve Block and Genicular Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA), can be done prior to or following knee surgery and may help patients avoid the need for invasive surgery altogether.
The nerve block injects local anesthestic on the genicular nerve itself. This procedure tests the patients response to determine if sufficient pain relief is experienced.
When the nerve block is successful in providing substantial relief this justifies a genicular nerve ablation or radiofrequency ablation which is a longer lasting pain relief option. The ablation procedure works on the theory that cutting the nerve supply to the knee may alleviate pain and restore function.