This procedure is performed for chronic knee pain which may be secondary to various reasons such as osteoarthritis, degenerative joint disease and persisting pain after knee replacement. It offers a safe, effective non surgical alternative to knee replacement for patients who are either not keen or are unfit or have persisting pain after knee replacement. Genicular nerve radiofrequency is performed as a day case under local anaesthesia with no requirement for hospital stay or prolonged rehabilitation.
Knee joint is supplied by branches from many nerves and these are collectively addressed as genicular nerves. The initial diagnostic procedure involves local anaesthetic injections close to the nerves supplying the knee joint. If the diagnostic procedure produces effective pain relief then special type of radio waves are applied to these nerves, which can produce prolonged pain relief (radiofrequency ablation). The procedure alleviates pain by creating a heat lesion around the nerves which interrupts the transmission of pain signals to the brain. These nerves are approached percutaneously under x-ray and ultrasound guidance with no requirement for any surgical incisions.