How a Genicular Nerve Block Can Alleviate Knee Pain

Americans are no strangers to knee pain — in fact, nearly one million people seek knee replacement surgery each year in the United States. But if you’re anxious about surgical measures, there are other options that can bring you relief, such as a genicular nerve block.

At Commonwealth Pain & Spine Management, our team of board-certified physicians specializes in finding solutions for most types of musculoskeletal pain, and given their workload, knees are among the most common areas we treat. While we offer several pain management solutions, we want to highlight one here — the genicular nerve block.

Here’s a look at how a genicular nerve block can help with your knee pain.

Behind the knee pain

Consider the incredible workload your knees are under from the moment you get out of bed until you lay your head back down at night. Your knees are responsible for providing much of your body’s support, mobility, and range of motion, which also means these hard-working joints are more susceptible to injury or degenerative problems.

The most common causes of knee pain include:

In the case of soft-tissue tears, time or surgery usually do the trick to heal and repair the tissue. But when it comes to degenerative diseases like arthritis, the pain often only gets worse as time goes by.

Blocking your knee pain

With our genicular nerve block, we inject an anesthetic directly into the nerves that are responsible for sending the pain signals — the genicular nerves, which surround your knee. We perform the nerve block in our offices using X-ray technology to guide us, and the entire procedure takes less than an hour. The nerve block works quickly and often brings immediate relief, allowing you to walk back out without any pain.

The results of a genicular nerve block vary from one patient to the next — some enjoy weeks of pain-free movement while others experience relief for a few days. 

Long-term solutions for knee pain

Genicular nerve blocks aren’t necessarily long-term solutions, though a few patients report months, and even years, of pain relief. Our goal with the nerve block is to provide you with an immediate reprieve from your pain, which allows you time to strengthen your knee through targeted exercises.

If your genicular nerve block is successful, it paves the way for a radiofrequency nerve ablation. During this procedure, we heat up the same nerves to create a lesion, which can block your pain for much longer than a nerve block using a local anesthetic.

The bottom line is that a genicular nerve block is a great first step in finding a more sustainable solution for your knee pain. 

If you’d like to explore how a genicular nerve block can bring you much-needed relief from your knee pain, please contact one of our offices to set up an appointment. For your convenience, we have locations in St. Matthews, Elizabethtown, Lexington, Crestview Hills, Owensboro, and London, Kentucky, as well as Evansville, Vincennes, New Albany, Carrollton, and Jasper, Indiana.

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