Genicular Neurotomy, also known as ablation, is an innovative option for treating knee pain without surgery. This highly advanced procedure is on the cutting edge of medicine. By selectively applying a sophisticated type of radio wave to the nerves surrounding the knee, one can effectively relieve pain in the knee from any number of causes, allowing patients to return to activities of daily living.
These nerves, known as the genicular nerves, are the main sensory branches for the knee joint. Disrupting these pathways provides long term pain relief to patients, often where other more conventional therapies or procedures like cortisone injections and surgery have failed. The process causes little to no pain, has a virtually non-existent recovery period, and can provide relief for up to a year.
Perhaps the greatest advantage of this procedure is the fact that it is performed OUTSIDE the knee capsule. There is no steroid involved – in fact, no medication of any kind is injected into the knee at all. Instead, this procedure stuns the painful nerves and prevents the signals from reaching the brain.
While surgery is considered to be the accepted treatment option for patients with advanced joint disease, many individuals wish to prevent undergoing surgery for one reason or another. Genicular nerve neurotomy can drastically help make this waiting period more tolerable by significantly reducing knee pain.
The procedure is performed in two stages, both performed under direct fluoroscopic guidance:
Diagnostic Genicular Nerve Block - This procedure consists of placing a small amount of local anesthetic on the genicular nerves to test the patient’s response, and determines if there is sufficient pain relief in the knee to justify performing a therapeutic neurotomy.
Genicular Nerve Neurotomy – This is the therapeutic portion of the treatment whereby the physician will perform a radiofrequency ablation of the genicular nerves, thus alleviating pain to the knee and restoring function.
So is it right for you? If you have one of the following, you may be eligible:
Chronic knee pain
Degenerative joint disease
Patients unfit for knee replacement/surgery
Total knee replacement (before or after)
Partial knee replacement (before or after)
Patients who are required to lose weight prior to knee surgery
Patients who wish to avoid a knee replacement/surgery
We invite you to call us at 703.444.5000 to schedule an appointment with our Rehabilitation Medicine specialist here at Arthritis & Sports. To stay up-to-date on the latest news and tips from us, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter by clicking below.