Genicular Rhizotomy / Radiofrequency Ablation
The knee joint can become inflamed and painful for a number of different reasons. Sometimes traditional injections do not provide pain relief that lasts for a long enough period of time. In these situations, a radiofrequency ablation- also called rhizotomy- procedure may be the better option for long-term pain relief. Radiofrequency ablation uses an electric current to heat up a small section of the nerve that goes to the facet joint in order to stop the pain signal. This minimally invasive procedure can provide relief that will last for months for people with chronic pain due to arthritic joints.
How is radiofrequency ablation performed?
The doctor will numb your skin with an anesthetic. Then, guided by an x-ray, he will:
- Insert a thin needle into several areas around the knee joint under x-ray
- Next, a small electrode will be inserted through the needle to the target location.
- Before the burning is started, we use a process to test the needle placement to ensure that the correct nerve is being burned. A small electrical current is used to burn the nerve
Usually, the procedure takes 15-20 minutes and you can go home the same day.