GENICULAR NERVE ABLATION PROCEDURE
WHAT IS GENICULAR NERVE ABLATION?
Genicular Nerve Ablation is an outpatient procedure where a physician uses a radiofrequency device to heat and disrupt the genicular nerves responsible for transmitting knee pain signals to the brain. Interrupting these pathways can achieve long-term relief from knee pain.
WHAT ARE GENICULAR NERVES?
Genicular nerves, also known as the genicular nerve complex, are a set of nerves that form a network around the knee joint. These nerves consist of multiple branches, including the superior medial genicular nerve, the superior lateral genicular nerve, the middle genicular nerve, and the inferior medial genicular nerve.
The genicular nerves are responsible for transmitting sensory information from the knee to the brain, including pain signals. They play a crucial role in knee pain perception and contribute to our awareness of discomfort in this area.
HOW IS THE PROCEDURE PERFORMED?
In preparation for the procedure, the patient may receive an IV and a mild sedative to induce relaxation. Additionally, the physician thoroughly cleans and numbs the skin of the knee using a local anesthetic.
Utilizing a fluoroscope, the physician guides a needle towards the target nerve and carefully inserts a thin electrode through it. Once activated, the electrode generates heat, a process known as ablation, effectively disabling the nerve’s ability to transmit pain signals. Importantly, the ablation procedure is not painful. The physician repeats this precise technique at two more locations to treat a total of three genicular nerves.
After the procedure, the knee is appropriately bandaged, and the patient undergoes monitoring prior to being discharged. It is normal for the leg to experience temporary numbness until the anesthetic wears off. Patients typically experience immediate pain relief, and the effects of the procedure may persist for several months.
WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF THE PROCEDURE?
Patients may experience temporary numbness until the anesthetic wears off, and they typically experience immediate pain relief that can last for several months.
For more information about the procedure, watch the Genicular Nerve Ablation video.