Ultrasound-Guided Genicular Nerve Pulsed Radiofrequency Treatment For Painful Knee Osteoarthritis: A Preliminary Report

Serdar Kesikburun, Evren Yaşar, Ayça Uran, Emre Adigüzel, Bilge Yilmaz
Pain Physician 2016, 19 (5): E751-9

BACKGROUND: Genicular nerve ablation with radiofrequency (RF) has recently emerged as a promising treatment in the management of osteoarthritis related knee pain. To date, genicular nerve injections have been performed under fluoroscopic guidance.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of ultrasound-guided genicular nerve pulsed RF treatment on chronic knee pain and function in patients with knee osteoarthritis.

STUDY DESIGN: Single-arm prospective study.

SETTING: University hospital and rehabilitation center in Turkey.

METHODS: A review was made of 29 patients with medial knee osteoarthritis who had undergone genicular nerve block in the previous 6 months. Patients with at least 50% reduction in the visual analog scale (VAS) score after genicular nerve block and with no on-going pain relief were selected for the study. Ultrasound-guided genicular nerve pulsed RF was applied to 15 knees of 9 patients. Pain and knee function were assessed with 100-mm VAS and Western Ontario and McMaster Universities (WOMAC) index throughout 3 months.

RESULTS: A significant reduction in VAS scores was detected over time after the pulsed RF procedure (f: 69.24, P < 0.01). There was a significant improvement in the WOMAC scores (f: 539.68 , P < 0.01).

LIMITATIONS: The small number of participants, the lack of a control group, and short follow-up period were limitations of the study.

CONCLUSIONS: Genicular nerve pulsed RF treatment has been found to be safe and beneficial in osteoarthritis related knee pain. Further studies with a larger population and randomized controlled study design are warranted to confirm the positive findings of this preliminary report.


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