Originally written by: Hanna Logsdon MS IV. Updated: June 20, 2022
When you lead an active lifestyle, knee pain can be hard to endure. If left untreated, it can lead to more traumatic injury or serious complications for the body, knees, thigh muscles, and legs.
When the pain is long-term, it becomes chronic, and the simplest task tends to be almost impossible.
According to the National Library of Medicine, approximately 25% of people suffer from knee pain. Keep reading to learn how the pain can be treated and who should consider these options.
While people experience pain for several reasons, trauma and underlying medical conditions are typically the underlying cause.
However, here are a few other causes of irritation:
People often seek health advice from a doctor when they experience tight hamstrings, weakness in the muscles, lower back pain, and an injured leg. The discomfort patients experience tends to be described as sharp, shooting, burning electric, and pins and needles sensation.
The medial genicular, lateral genicular, and infrapatellar nerves are responsible for sensation in the knees. Therefore, directly addressing the common problems that cause nerve pain in the knee may be an effective option for some patients.
A genicular block requires an injection, using a small needle that delivers a combination of local anesthetic and steroid to the area. Rapid temporary relief is expected as soon as the day of the injection due to the local anesthetic.
Following the injections, the patient may experience swelling, tightness, or soreness in the knees, but it should not last long. Relief from the steroid will typically begin a few days after the injection and may last for a few weeks or months.
Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is considered a longer-lasting procedure and is often performed when the patient only receives temporary relief from other treatments like physical therapy.
With RFA, the affected nerves are located through stimulation with a small probe. Next, an injection of local anesthetic is administered to provide anesthesia. The nerves are then ablated or heated with a small electrode. The electrode reaches high temperatures that essentially burn and cut off the ability to receive negative pain sensations in the brain.
Treatment options like genicular blocks and radiofrequency ablation (RFA) often help patients with pain management. It enables the patient to gain better mobility, feel confident with their body, and contributes to positive health outcomes in the recovery process.
You may be a good candidate for one of these procedures if:
While genicular blocks and radiofrequency ablation procedures are generally low risks, there are always potential complications to keep in mind.
Although uncommon, these are a few possible complications to consider:
Knee pain can be exhausting and affect the patient’s quality of life. While there are several options, less invasive treatment plans should be considered.
If you are experiencing symptoms and have received a disturbing diagnosis, addressing the genicular nerves may be an effective option.
Reach out to Dr. Martin Taylor, our Neurologist at OrthoNeuro, for more information about this procedure today!
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