Genicular Nerve Block and RFA

What are Genicular Nerves?

Genicular nerves are located around the knee joint, and are involved in transmitting pain signals from the knee joint to the brain. These nerves are very small nerves which travel outside of the knee joint. In patients who have arthritis or post-surgical pain, the pain signal travels along these genicular nerve paths.

What is a genicular nerve block?

Your physician uses this type of injection to find out if your pain might be alleviated by targeting the genicular nerve. This is done in our surgery center. Your physician will use an x-ray machine to target the exact place for your injection, then will inject numbing medication in three areas along the nerve path in your knee. These injections do not enter the joint space as steroid injections do. If you get immediate relief from

What happens after this injection?

This type of injection might give you short term relief from your pain. The result you have gives your physician more information about your pain and the best way to treat it. If your pain does not go away with this local anesthetic, this tells your physician that your pain may not respond to the second step in this treatment. This is why it is very important for you to complete and return the pain diary you will be given following your injection.

What is Radio Frequency Neurotomy?

This procedure uses heat to form a small lesion or scar on the genicular nerve. This causes interference with the transmission of pain signals and lasts about 6 to 18 months. The way this is done is very similar to a genicular nerve block. Instead of simply injecting a numbing medication though, your physician will place a small wire through the needle. This wire has a special tip on the end that can be heated to the proper temperature to make a lesion form on the nerve.

The Process

Your physician does a genicular nerve block in the area of your pain. If your pain is not relieved, your physician may consider treating you with other methods. If your pain is relieved by at least 50% in a short time, your physician can now perform a Radio Frequency Neurotomy.

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