| Analgesics

Genicular Nerve Injections

An Alternative to Pharmacotherapy or Surgery

The journal of Arthritis & Rheumatology reports on a pain management procedure for knee osteoarthritis. In a randomized, placebo controlled 12 week trial, 59 patients received either injections of saline (placebo) or 3 injections of celestone chronodose and bupivacaine to the genicular nerves—inferomedial, superomedial, and superolateral. Outcomes, whether VAS (visual analog scale) or WOMAC (Western Ontario and McMasters Universities Osteoarthritis Index) were better for the active group than the placebo group, all through the 12 week study. Although the benefits diminished over time—

  • The trial resulted in pain relief that was clinically/statistically relevant
  • The nerve block was similar in effect to radiofrequency ablation, but the latter offered a longer period of pain relief
  • Patient satisfaction in the active group was high
  • No adverse outcomes were reported

The study concluded: “The management of knee pain in OA in a real-world setting is challenging. …This US-guided GNB therapeutic intervention may be safer than the pharmacotherapies currently available. Also, a single intervention offered over 3 months may have substantial appeal for some patients compared with regular oral medication.”


Read the journal article.

Holly Caster