Cooled radiofrequency ablation of genicular nerves for knee osteoarthritis pain: A protocol for patient selection and case series

Rajiv D. Reddy*, Zachary L. McCormick, Ben Marshall, Ryan Mattie, David R. Walega

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Chronic knee pain from osteoarthritis (OA) is common in the aging and the obese population. Radiofrequency ablation of the genicular nerves has been introduced as a potential surgery-sparing treatment for chronic knee pain from OA, yet only two outcome studies have been published and optimal patient selection for this procedure has not been established. Objectives:We describe a standardized protocol for selecting patients for cooled radiofrequency ablation (C-RFA) of the genicular nerves, as well as the clinical outcomes of four patients ages 63-65 years. Methods: The threshold for selection based on diagnostic genicular nerve block was ≥ 80% pain reduction. Following successful block, C-RFA of the genicular nerves was performed. Outcomes included pain, function, analgesic medication use, opioid use, and progression to total knee arthroplasty at a minimum of 6 month follow up. Results: C-RFA of the genicular nerves after using the described selection protocol resulted in > 90% pain reduction, improved function and avoidance of surgery at 6 months in all four cases. All opioid and analgesic medication use decreased or was unchanged in all cases. No serious adverse events occurred. Conclusions: The accompanying case series suggests that this protocol is deserving of randomized, prospective study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere39696
JournalAnesthesiology and Pain Medicine
Volume6
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2016

Keywords

  • Chronic pain
  • Knee
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Outcome assessment (health care)
  • Radiofrequency catheter ablation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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