When your knee joint—which is one of the joints most susceptible to damage—is injured, has arthritis or has experienced wear and tear over time, your quality of life may be compromised due to constant knee pain. If you’re suffering from chronic knee pain and have tried other treatments without success, including surgery, you may consider a genicular nerve block.
What Is a Genicular Nerve Block?
A genicular nerve block is a procedure in which anesthesia medication is administered via a needle to essentially “block” major nerves in your knee. By blocking the nerves in this way, the pain signals the knee produces in response to arthritis, an injury or wear and tear can’t reach the brain, and so you don’t experience pain.
How Is the Procedure Done?
A genicular nerve block is a non-surgical procedure. Using a needle, your physician will administer the medication into your knee to block nerves. While the needle may cause minor discomfort, every effort is made by our Atlanta pain management specialists to reduce any pain you may experience.
Conducting a genicular nerve block is a good way to know whether you would be a good candidate for a genicular nerve ablation, which is a procedure where radiofrequency waves target the knee and stop pain signals from reaching your brain (similar to a nerve block).
Your physician may conduct a genicular nerve block in an effort to determine if you would benefit from genicular nerve ablation as a long-term solution for knee pain.
What Are the Risks?
There are a few risks associated with genicular nerve blocks, although they are relatively minor, especially when you compare the procedure to more invasive treatment options such as surgery. As with any procedure that involves an injection, you may experience some discomfort, including swelling or redness, at the injection site. Some patients report feeling dizzy or nauseous following the procedure. Your physician will let you know what to expect following your appointment.
How Long Will the Pain Relief Last?
As each patient and their pain is different, it’s difficult to say exactly how long a genicular nerve block would relieve your pain. Generally, patients experience anywhere from a few hours up to 24 hours of pain relief. While these short-term results are expected, genicular nerve blocks can help your doctor understand where your pain is coming from and plan a long-term treatment strategy for you that may involve genicular nerve ablation, which can provide a year or more of pain relief.
Who Qualifies for a Genicular Nerve Block?
Patients who qualify for genicular nerve blocks are those who experience chronic knee pain that hasn’t responded to treatment. These can include patients who:
- Have severe osteoarthritis that impacts their mobility and quality of life.
- Continue to experience pain after a partial or full knee replacement surgery.
- Experience chronic pain as a result of an injury that hasn’t responded to other treatments.
Let Our Atlanta Pain Management Specialists Lessen Your Pain
Do you continue to experience debilitating knee pain even after surgery or other conventional therapies? If so, it could be time to consider a genicular nerve block with the Atlanta pain management specialists at Summit Spine & Joint Centers. Call us at (770) 250-4020 or contact us online to book a virtual or in-person appointment with our team of board-certified physicians.