Genicular Nerve Ablation (RF Neurotomy)

Knee pain can often be treated with Genicular nerve ablation or RF Neurotomy. During this procedure, the physician uses a radiofrequency device to heat up and disrupt the genicular nerves which are the sensory nerves that transmit pain signals from the knee to the brain. Disrupting these pathways can provide long term relief from knee pain. In preparation for the procedure, you may be given a mild sedative to help relaxation. The skin of the knee is cleansed and sanitized and then numbed with a local anesthetic.  The physician typically uses a fluoroscope (a video x-ray) which shows a video image of the needle’s position as it travels through the skin to the target nerve. A thin electrode is passed through this needle, and when the electrode is activated it heats up the nerve. This heating process, called ablation, is not painful  and will eliminate the nerve’s ability to transmit pain signals. The ablation process is repeated at two more locations to treat three of the genicular nerves. When the procedure is complete, the knee is bandaged and you will be monitored for a short time before being released. Your leg may feel numb for a short time after the procedure until the anesthetic wears off. Pain relief should begin immediately and may last for several months. Your PCA physician will work with you to create an individualized treatment plan.