This outpatient procedure is an injection of anesthetic to the genicular nerves. These are the sensory nerves that transmit pain signals from the knee to the brain. Anesthetizing these nerves can disrupt the pain signals caused by degeneration of the knee. A genicular nerve block can provide temporary pain relief. It may help determine if a patient is a candidate for nerve ablation, which can provide long-term pain relief.
The physician swabs the knee, injects a numbing medication and positions a special X-ray device called a fluoroscope.
In preparation for the procedure, the skin of the knee is cleansed and sanitized. The injection sites are numbed with a local anesthetic. Using a fluoroscope (a type of x-ray device that shows video images from within the body), the physician carefully guides a needle to one of the targeted nerves. An anesthetic mixture is injected through this needle to numb the nerve. The physician repeats the injection at two more locations to numb three of the genicular nerves.
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When the procedure is complete, the injection sites are bandaged. The patient is allowed to go home. The patient will be able to walk normally, and should feel immediate pain relief.