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Cooled Radiofrequency Treatment for Chronic Knee Pain

By Dr. Amod Manocha in Pain Management

Oct 08 , 2018 | 1 min read

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Cooled Radio frequency treatment has recently become available in India. It is an alternative for those suffering from chronic knee pain secondary to various reasons such as osteoarthritis, degenerative joint disease and persisting pain after knee replacement surgery. It offers a safe, effective non surgical, minimally invasive alternative to knee replacement for patients who are either

Not keen on surgery or
Not fit for surgery due to other medical problems or
Have persisting pain after knee replacement.

It is a day care procedure performed under local anaesthesia. This procedure can also be used for sacroiliac joint pain as in patients with ankylosing spondylitis and for low back pain secondary to facet joint arthritis.

Advantages of this procedure include

  • No requirement for hospital stay or prolonged rehabilitation
  • Normal activities can generally be resumed soon after the procedure with little or no recovery time
  • Less pain can lead to improved functionality and reduced medication requirements
  • Lasting pain relief for and has a low complication rate

Knee joint is supplied by branches from many nerves and these are collectively addressed as genicular nerves. Cooled Radiofrequency aims to reduce the pain signals being transmitted by the nerves to the brain. This is achieved by heating up a small area of the nerve using the electric current produced by radio waves. The procedure involves placing needles close to these nerves under x ray or ultrasound guidance followed by heating of nerves. Cooled Radiofrequency differs from conventional Radiofrequency as it has water circulating through the device, needle tip and can create a larger treatment area increasing the chances of success.

The procedure is performed in two steps. In the first step diagnostic local anaesthetic injections are performed close to the nerves supplying the knee joint. If this produces good pain relief then it is beneficial to proceed with cooled radiofrequency treatment. The second step involved placing the radiofrequency needles in the same locations followed by the cooled radiofrequency treatment. 

Dr. Manocha has formally trained in the procedure technique in Germany. He uses a combination of ultrasound and x rays to improve the chances of successful outcome.