Genicular Nerve Block / Genicular Nerve Radiofrequency Ablation

The knee is one of the main weight-bearing joints of the body. As a result, it undergoes a lot of wear and tear throughout our lives. Injuries, diseases, failed surgeries, and the normal effects of aging can eventually cause significant knee pain that worsens as we age.

Anyone with chronic knee pain knows how big of an impact it can have on activities of daily living. For people with advanced knee osteoarthritis, pain often persists even with sitting or laying down.

As osteoarthritis progresses in the knee joint, pain and knee stiffness can become unbearable. Lifestyle changes such as weight loss may provide initial relief, but as arthritis progresses, the pain always returns. Eventually, it may stop responding to traditional treatments. At this point, many patients elect to explore newer and more advanced non-surgical treatment options such as nerve block or nerve ablation.

The word “genicular” refers to the small sensory nerves originating from the tibial and common peroneal nerves that supply the knee. During the genicular nerve block procedure, your doctor will target the superior medial, superior lateral, and inferior medial nerves surrounding the knee. 

Following genicular nerve block patients typically have a substantial yet temporary relief of their pain. After confirming the genicular nerves as the cause of a patient’s knee pain a radiofrequency ablation procedure is performed with radiofrequency needles placed in the same location as the diagnostic blocks. After this procedure patients can expect 6-12 months of knee pain relief.