Cooled radiofrequency system relieves chronic knee osteoarthritis pain: the first case-series

Martina Bellini, Massimo Barbieri
Anaesthesiology Intensive Therapy 2015, 47 (1): 30-3

BACKGROUND: Knee osteoarthritis is a frequent cause of chronic knee pain. Therapeutic solutions include intra-articular injections with short-term pain relief and surgical therapy. Radiofrequency (RF) of genicular nerves has been previously reported with varying success. Cooling tissue adjacent to the electrode (cooled RF) increases the radius of lesion. We present here the first retrospective data on pain relief and changes in function after such cooled RF denervation.

METHODS: We reviewed the records of nine patients with chronic knee pain who underwent cooled RF of genicular nerves. Visual analogue scale (VAS) and Western Ontario McMaster Universities OA index (WOMAC) were analysed.

RESULTS: We observed an improvement in VAS pain scores 2 ± 0.5 at one month, 2.3 ± 0.7 at three months, 2.1 ± 0.5 at six months, and 2.2 ± 0.2 at 12 months after the procedure, and WOMAC score 20 ± 2, at one month, 22 ± 0.5 at three months, 21 ± 1.7 at six months, and 20 ± 1.0 at 12 months.

CONCLUSION: The majority of patients with chronic knee pain experienced a clinically relevant degree of pain relief and improved function following cooled RF of genicular nerves at one, three, six and 12 months follow-up.


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