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Genicular Nerve Blocks

Genicular Nerve Blocks at Pain Management Services

At Pain Management Services, we provide minimally invasive pain treatment procedures that have produced great results for our patients. We take a cutting-edge approach to pain reduction so we can help restore quality of life and overall function for our patients. Striving to achieve this goal has led to perfecting a variety of pain relief procedures. A genicular nerve block is a common approach used to address severe knee pain from progressive diseases such as osteoarthritis or persistent pain from failed total knee replacement. It is a way to diagnose and evaluate the patient for the possibility of pursuing genicular nerve radiofrequency ablation.

How Genicular Nerve Blocks Help Relieve Knee Pain

Severe knee pain can make moving around and enjoying our favorite activities difficult or impossible. This condition is common in those suffering from osteoarthritis and other progressive diseases. It’s also common for severe knee pain to occur following a total or partial knee replacement that failed. The genicular nerves carry pain signals to the brain from the knee and are directly involved in cases of chronic knee pain.

Genicular nerve blocks are the first step to work towards Genicular Nerve Radiofrequency Ablation which can give 6 to 9 months relief for knee pain. Geniuclar nerve blocks are a relatively new technique used to treat severe knee pain that has not responded to other treatments. Typically, three branches are targeted with a genicular nerve block, the superior medial branch, the superior lateral branch, and the inferior medial genicular nerves.

Treating these branches can provide relief for:

  • Knee Osteoarthritis – Arthritis resulting from wear and tear on the knee joint
  • Chronic knee pain – Often caused by gout, injury, tendinitis, osteoarthritis, or other conditions
  • Degenerative Joint Disease  
  • Failed total or partial knee surgery
  • Chronic knee pain where surgery isn’t appropriate

After the procedure, you may identify some pain or swelling near the injection site. However, this should be accompanied by a significant reduction in your typical knee pain for a couple of hours. The goal is to get at least 80% reduction in pain for many hours. This helps us decide if you are a good candidate for genicular nerve radiofrequency ablation, which can last for 6 to 9 months at a time for chronic knee pain.

It’s important that you don’t overexert your knee following the nerve block. We will let you to “test it out” by doing activities that normally aggravate your knee pain to see if it works. When the treatment is successful, you’ll be able to reduce your dependence on pain medication and enjoy your daily activities more. Once the genicular nerve block has proven successful, you may be scheduled for a radiofrequency ablation. This procedure uses a special needle to deaden or injure the nerve, providing relief for 6 to 9 months.

Some potential complications may occur following your procedure as with any medical procedure.

While uncommon, those patients who experienced complications reported:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Nerve damage
  • Increased Pain
  • Drug Allergy

The genicular nerve block is a fairly straightforward procedure. Sedation for comfort will be provided if requested, but is usually not needed. The procedure itself only takes 3-4 minutes.

At this point, your skin will be cleaned and sterilized to prevent infection. Your doctor will then use x-ray guidance to identify the proper procedure site. Your physician will then put the spinal needle in place and the medication administered. In many cases, the pain relief will be nearly instantaneous.

Reach Out To Pain Management Services For Additional Info

You can get more help preparing for your appointment by reaching out to Pain Management Services. You’ll have a visit with Dr. Calvin Cajigal scheduled for your initial assessment.

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