Radiofrequency Ablation For Chronic Knee Pain  

Kanuru Interventional Spine and Pain Institute

Interventional Pain Management Specialists located in Highland, IN & Crown Point, IN

An RFA Procedure of the Genicular Nerves is an outpatient procedure for treating chronic knee pain caused by Osteoarthritis, Degenerative Joint Disease, before or after total or partial knee replacement, patients unfit for knee replacement, patients trying to avoid knee surgery and patients who have failed to respond to medications. This information has been provided by your doctor so you can better understand this procedure. Your doctor will make the best recommendation for your specific needs.

Radiofrequency Ablation for Chronic Knee Pain Q & A

What are Genicular Nerves?

The knee joint is supplied by the articular

What is a Genicular RFA?

An RFA uses radiofrequency energy to disrupt nerve function. When this is done to a genicular nerve, the nerve can no longer transmit pain from the knee.

Are you a candidate for a Genicular RFA?

• Patients with chronic knee pain

• Patients with Osteoarthritis

• Patients with Degenerative Joint Disease

• Patients who have had a partial or knee replacement (before or after)

• Patients unfit for knee replacement

• Patients trying to avoid knee surgery

• Patients who have failed to respond to medications.


Complications are rare, particularly if injections are performed using a precise needle-positioning technique. Severe allergic reactions to local anesthetics are uncommon. Post-procedural pain flare-up is not uncommon and may be treated with painkillers. Radiofrequency treatment can cause patchy numbness of the overlying skin.

Procedure Information

Before performing the procedure, a surgeon performs two diagnostic tests, with different medication to determine whether deactivation of these nerves would help the patient. If the tests prove to be successful with a minimum of 50% pain relief for over 24 hours following the nerve block, the patient then can choose to undergo the genicular RFA. Using a series of cannulas, your doctor will insert the RFA probe using Fluoroscopy to correctly position the device. Once the probe is properly placed, radiofrequency energy will be used to “burn” the nerves related to your pain.

You will be monitored after the procedure. Upon discharge, you will be given discharge instructions and a pain diary. You will need to take it easy for several hours and may feel sore for two to three weeks, which is NORMAL. Complete pain relief normally takes three to four weeks.

These nerves may regenerate after an RFA, but how long this takes varies. Your pain may or may not return when the nerves regenerate. If it does, another RFA can be done.