Ablation Procedure for Knee Pain

Many who suffer from chronic knee pain due to osteoarthritis usually seek surgical treatment. However, a partial or total knee replacement is not always an option. That’s when a genicular nerve block ablation can help.

If you are considering seeing a neurologist to address your chronic knee pain, schedule an appointment at Virgin Islands Neurology today! Our specialists located in the U.S. Virgin Islands look forward to helping you resolve your discomfort!

A patient waiting for an ablation procedure for knee pain.

What Is Genicular Nerve Block Ablation?

Genicular nerve block ablation is a treatment that can provide pain relief if you have knee osteoarthritis. The treatment involves using a needle to access the genicular nerves. These nerves are responsible for sending pain signals to the brain.

The needle is connected to a radiofrequency generator that can block the nerves from sending pain signals to the brain. That is why the procedure is also known as radiofrequency ablation.

This procedure is preferred by many as it does not involve injecting medicine into the knee joint.

Who Is a Candidate for Nerve Block Ablation?

The nerve block ablation procedure is a good option for those with chronic knee pain that has not responded to more conservative treatments, such as pain medication and physical therapy. It is also a good option for those that do not want knee replacement surgery or want to postpone their knee surgery.

A patient receiving genicular nerve block ablation in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Who Should Not Have the Ablation Procedure?

Some patients should avoid the ablation procedure. The procedure should be avoided if any of the following applies to you:

  • You have a bacterial infection
  • You are pregnant
  • You have a bleeding disorder
  • You have a tumor in or close to the knee

How Is a Nerve Ablation Performed?

In order to perform nerve ablation, your doctor will begin by using a local anesthetic to numb the area. They will then insert a needle into the target site.

They will be guided with the use of an X-ray to reach the right place. Once the needle is in position, your doctor will use radio waves to burn the nerves that send pain signals to the brain.

What Are the Risks of the Ablation Procedure?

The genicular nerve ablation procedure is a safe and effective way of treating knee pain. It is suitable for most patients and is associated with very few complications.

There is a minimal risk of experiencing bleeding and infection in the area where the needle is inserted. Therefore, your doctor may advise you not to have this treatment if you have a bleeding disorder.

What to Expect After the Ablation Procedure

If you are experiencing chronic knee pain and choose to proceed with the genicular nerve block ablation procedure, it is essential that you know what to expect. Here are some details you should keep in mind after completing your procedure.

Returning to Normal Activities

Many are excited about getting back to doing the things that they love to do. To ensure that everything goes smoothly after your pain relief procedure, keep the following things in mind:

Side Effects

You may experience a few minor side effects after your knee pain ablation procedure. These could include the following:

  • Leg numbness: For the first few hours, you may experience a loss of sensation in your legs. This is caused by the local anesthesia. During this time, you may need some assistance with walking.
  • Mild knee discomfort: As the local anesthetic wears off, you may experience mild pain at the site of the treatment. This will usually last two or three days. To relieve the pain, you may apply ice to the area on the first day and moist heat the day after the procedure. It’s also possible to use over-the-counter pain medications.

Results of the Ablation Procedure

The ablation procedure usually provides long-term pain relief in comparison with pain medications. Many patients remain pain-free anywhere from 6 months up to 2 years.

Manage Your Knee Pain Today

If you are curious about how a neurologist can help alleviate your knee pain, schedule an appointment at Virgin Islands Neurology today! Our highly-skilled doctors located in the U.S. Virgin Islands can give you the peace of mind you deserve. Contact us today!