Treating Knee Osteoarthritis With Radiofrequency Neurotomy

HealthDay News — For patients with chronic knee osteoarthritis (OA) pain, radiofrequency (RF) neurotomy of genicular nerves is safe and efficient, according to a study published online on August 12 in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases.1

Sinem Sari, MD, from Adnan Menderes University in Aydin, Turkey, and colleagues compared the efficacy of intra-articular injection and RF neurotomy of genicular nerves in 73 patients with chronic knee OA pain. Patients were randomized to Group IA (intra-articular 2.5 mL of bupivacaine, 2.5 mg of morphine, and 1 mL of betamethasone) or Group RF (RF neurotomy of the genicular nerves).

The researchers observed no statistically significant differences between the groups in terms of baseline visual analogue scale (VAS) pain. Compared with Group IA, Group RF had significant reductions in VAS pain in the first and third month (P <.001). A significant reduction was seen in the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Index of Osteoarthritis total scores in the first month in Group RF versus Group IA (P <.001).

“This study demonstrated that genicular nerve RF neurotomy is a safe and efficient treatment modality and provides functional improvement along with analgesia in patients with chronic knee OA,” the authors write.

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  1. Sarı S, Aydın ON, Turan Y, Özlülerden P, Efe U, Kurt Ömürlü İ. Which one is more effective for the clinical treatment of chronic pain in knee osteoarthritis: radiofrequency neurotomy of the genicular nerves or intra-articular injection? Int J Rheum Dis. 2016.