Radiofrequency Neurotomy for Knee Pain: Did you undergo a total knee replacement but still have knee pain? Do you have knee pain despite already having traditional treatment options? There is a technique that can help alleviate that pain. It is called Radiofrequency Neurotomy of the knee joint. When medications and physical therapy is not enough to manage the pain after a total knee replacement, Radiofrequency Neurotomy can provide a therapeutic alternative. This is a non-surgical option that uses radiofrequency waves to modulate the genicular nerves that provide painful sensation to the knee, reducing pain, and restoring function.
The knee joint is innervated by the branches of the femoral, common peroneal, saphenous, tibial, and obturator nerves which are known collectively as the genicular nerves (superior lateral, middle, superior medial, inferior lateral, inferior medial, and recurrent tibial genicular nerve). These nerves can be reached via a needle under x-ray guidance or ultrasound. If the pain of knee is not completely relieved by targeting these nerves, this may be because there are other nerves that may innervate the knee.
Before you get a radiofrequency neurotomy, there are a series of 2 diagnostic genicular nerve blocks that need to be performed to confirm that the pain is from these nerves. Under x-ray or ultrasound, a small amount of local anesthetic is placed around the superior lateral, superior medial, and inferior medial branches. A positive response is if there is at least a 50% reduction in pain in the next 6-8 hours.
If there is a positive response, patients then proceed to a radiofrequency neurotomy for a more long lasting response. It is a same day procedure that takes about an hour of your day. The results of the procedure can provide you with either a fair to great reduction of your pain. It can take 4-6 weeks for the treatment to be effective, so patience is needed. There may be some discomfort post-procedure, but this can be effectively controlled with ice and painkillers.
I hope you found this information helpful.
If you would like to know if Radiofrequency Neurotomy can help you please call Restore Orthopedics and Spine Center and set up a consultation with me. I hope that I can be of service.
Eric Chang, M.D.
Interventional Pain Management Specialist, Sports Medicine Rehabilitation Specialist, Regenerative Medicine at Restore Orthopedics and Spine Center
Restore Orthopedics and Spine Center
112o W. La Veta Ave, Suite 300
Orange, CA 92868
Office: (714) 598-1745
Fax: (714) 941-9539