Genicular Nerve Blocks
When a person’s knee joint is emanating pain, the genicular nerves will sense this pain signal and transmit it along a pathway to the spinal cord and up to the brain where we interpret and “feel” that painful sensation. As such, genicular nerve blocks can be used as a diagnostic/prognostic injection to help determine whether or not a patient may be a candidate for treatment with radiofrequency ablation. Using x-ray (fluoroscopic) guidance, needles are safely guided to and placed near the genicular nerves which are then anesthetized, thus temporarily blocking the pain coming from the knee joint. Patients are then asked to monitor their pain during the time period that the local anesthetic is blocking the knee joint pain. In patients who experience a significant improvement in their pain, radiofrequency ablation can then be performed as a treatment to provide long lasting improvement in the pain. In patients who do not experience much improvement in their pain during the anesthetic phase, it can be determined with much more certainty that they would be unlikely to benefit from the radiofrequency ablation procedure and other treatments options would then be considered.
At a Glance
Dr. Craig Best
- Harvard Fellowship-Trained Interventional Spine & Sports Medicine Specialist
- Double Board-Certified in Physical Medicnie & Rehabilitation and Pain Medicine
- Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Orthopedic Surgery
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