Ultrasound-guided genicular nerve pulsed radiofrequency treatment for painful knee osteoarthritis: A preliminary report

Kesikburun S., Yaşar E., Uran A., Adigüzel E., Yilmaz B.

Pain Physician, vol.19, no.5, 2016 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 19 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Journal Name: Pain Physician
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Keywords: Genicular nerve, Knee pain, Osteoarthritis, Pulsed radiofrequency, Ultrasonography
  • Yozgat Bozok University Affiliated: No


Background: Genicular nerve ablation with radiofrequency (RF) has recently emerged as a promising treatment in the management of osteoarthritis related knee pain. To date, genicular nerve injections have been performed under fluoroscopic guidance. Objective: To evaluate the effect of ultrasound-guided genicular nerve pulsed RF treatment on chronic knee pain and function in patients with knee osteoarthritis. Study Design: Single-arm prospective study. Setting: University hospital and rehabilitation center in Turkey. Methods: A review was made of 29 patients with medial knee osteoarthritis who had undergone genicular nerve block in the previous 6 months. Patients with at least 50% reduction in the visual analog scale (VAS) score after genicular nerve block and with no on-going pain relief were selected for the study. Ultrasound-guided genicular nerve pulsed RF was applied to 15 knees of 9 patients. Pain and knee function were assessed with 100-mm VAS and Western Ontario and McMaster Universities (WOMAC) index throughout 3 months. Results: A significant reduction in VAS scores was detected over time after the pulsed RF procedure (f: 69.24, P < 0.01). There was a significant improvement in the WOMAC scores (f: 539.68, P < 0.01). Limitations: The small number of participants, the lack of a control group, and short followup period were limitations of the study. Conclusions: Genicular nerve pulsed RF treatment has been found to be safe and beneficial in osteoarthritis related knee pain. Further studies with a larger population and randomized controlled study design are warranted to confirm the positive findings of this preliminary report.