Radiofrequency Ablation for the Knee Joint: A Survey by the American Society of Pain and Neuroscience

Alaa Abd-Elsayed, Natalie Strand, Karina Gritsenko, Joshua Martens, Krishnan Chakravarthy, Dawood Sayed, Timothy Deer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Genicular nerve radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is an effective, minimally invasive procedure often used to treat patients with intractable knee pain secondary to knee osteoarthritis and failed knee replacements. The prevalence of knee pain in adults has been estimated to be as high as 40% and is continuously increasing with an aging population. Over the past two decades, proceduralists have adopted variations in patient preparation, procedural steps, and post-operative care for genicular nerve RFA procedures. A survey was dispensed via the American Society of Pain and Neuroscience (ASPN) to gain a popular assessment of common practices for genicular nerve RFA. Methods: A 29 question survey was dispensed via SurveyMonkey to all members of ASPN. Members were able to respond to the survey a single time and were unable to make changes to their responses once the survey was submitted. After responses were compiled, each question was assessed in order to determine common practices for genicular nerve RFA. Results: A total of 378 proceduralists responded to the survey. There was high consensus with the three most commonly targeted nerves. The inferomedial, superomedial, and superolateral genicular branches were treated by 95–96% of respondents, while other targets were less commonly treated. There remains some debate among proceduralists regarding the need for a second diagnostic nerve block and the type of steroid used for diagnostic nerve blocks. Conclusion: Pain physicians use a wide variety of methods to perform genicular nerve ablations. The data offered by the survey show that there is no standardized protocol when it comes to treating knee pain via genicular nerve block and ablation and highlights controversies among proceduralists that ought to serve as the targets of future clinical research aimed at establishing a standardized protocol.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1247-1255
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Pain Research
Volume15
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • genicular nerve ablation
  • genicular nerve block
  • genicular nerve survey
  • knee radiofrequency ablation
  • radiofrequency ablation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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