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Genicular Nerve Block

What is a Genicular
Nerve Block?

The knee is one of the major weight-bearing joints in the human body. It handles a lot of pressure and wears and tear throughout a human’s life. Many factors, including injuries, and diseases, can cause significant knee pain that can rise with age. A genicular nerve block is a non-surgical procedure to help patients with chronic knee pain. It is a minimally invasive technique to temporarily block the nerve signals from the knee to the brain. If your knee pain is reduced to a significant level via a genicular nerve block, your physician may recommend genicular nerve ablation for more pain relief.

Who Can Benefit from This Treatment?

A genicular nerve block is an effective treatment strategy for patients with chronic knee pain. If medication or other therapies have failed to relieve pain, your doctor may recommend a genicular nerve block. This non-surgical procedure is perfect for those who:

  • Are experiencing pain after partial/full knee replacement surgery
  • Have severe osteoarthritis that affects the quality of life adversely
  • Feel chronic pain due to an injury that isn’t responding to any other treatments

How is a Genicular Nerve Block Done?

The procedure begins by administering anesthesia medication via a needle to block the targeted nerves in your knee, i.e. superior medial, superior lateral, and interior medial. This method prevents the nerves from transferring pain signals from the knee to the brain to ensure you feel no knee pain. The non-surgical procedure is simple, usually taking no more than 10 to 15 minutes, and the patient can go home the same day.

Why Should I Have a Genicular Nerve Block?

The procedure of a genicular nerve block is helpful in knowing whether you are a good candidate for genicular nerve ablation. Genicular nerve ablation or radiofrequency ablation is a procedure in which radiofrequency waves are used to treat chronic knee pain. These waves target the knee and prevent pain signals from reaching your brain. It is a more effective pain treatment formula to ensure long-term pain relief.

How long will a genicular nerve block prevent knee pain?

Results vary from patient to patient. Each patient and their pain are different. Thus, it is difficult to say about the duration of the effect. Generally, patients experience pain relief from a few hours to 24 hours after undergoing a genicular nerve block procedure. If the procedure is successful, your doctor will recommend a long-term treatment strategy, genicular nerve ablation, which can provide relief from chronic pain for a year or more.

Updated on Apr 16, 2024 by Dr. Thomas Stauss (Pain Management) of Pro Spine & Pain

Thomas Stauss, MD

Thomas Stauss, MD, completed both his undergraduate and medical studies at the esteemed University of Wisconsin in Madison. Dr. Stauss values having access to a wide array of cutting-edge treatment options, ensuring effective relief for his patients' discomfort and a significant enhancement in their quality of life. More specifically, he specializes in utilizing implanted devices to manage chronic pain. Dr. Stauss’s primary objective is to uphold the dignity of each patient while delivering ethical and professional services.

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