Pain practice : the official journal of World Institute of Pain

A Comparison of Genicular Nerve Treatment Using Either Radiofrequency or Analgesic Block with Corticosteroid for Pain after a Total Knee Arthroplasty: A Double-Blind, Randomized Clinical Study.

PMID 27641918


Knee osteoarthritis is a disease that affects a third of the population over 65 years of age, and it is increasingly becoming a motive for consultation and a source of pain and disability. The gold standard surgical treatment is a total knee arthroplasty; however, 15% to 30% of patients who have undergone surgery continue to experience pain and functional limitation. A double-blind, randomized clinical study compared neurolysis using traditional radiofrequency (RF) to local anesthetic and corticosteroid block of the superolateral, superomedial, and inferomedial branches of the knee genicular nerves in patients who had total knee arthroplasty but still experience pain. Twenty-eight patients, 14 on each treatment arm, were followed for over a 1-year period. A reduction in pain and significant joint function improvement during the first 3 to 6 months was shown, with similar results using both techniques. No adverse effects were noted. An improvement in both disability and quality of life was observed, as well as a reduction in the need for analgesics in both treatment groups. Further clinical trials need to be undertaken, with a larger sample size, in order to demonstrate the efficacy of this technique and to detect the possible appearance of any long-term adverse effects.

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