- 2018;21;169-177Fluoroscopic Guided Radiofrequency of Genicular Nerves for Pain Alleviation in Chronic Knee Osteoarthritis: A Single-Blind Randomized Controlled Trial
Eman H. El-Hakeim, MD, Abdelraheem Elawamy, MD, Emad Zarief Kamel, MD, Samar H. Goma, MD, Rania M. Gamal, MD, Abeer M. Ghandour, MD, Ayman M. Osman, MD, and Khalid M. Morsy, MD.
BACKGROUND: Nowadays, pain and disability due to chronic knee arthritis is a very common problem in middle aged people. A lot of modalities for management are available, including conservative analgesics and up to surgical interventions. Radiofrequency ablation of genicular nerves is assumed to be an effective less invasive and safe pain alleviation modality.
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the efficacy of fluoroscopic guided radiofrequency neurotomy of the genicular nerves for alleviation of chronic pain and improvement of function in patients with knee osteoarthritis.
STUDY DESIGN: A single-blind randomized controlled trial.
SETTING: Pain management unit, and Rheumatology and Rehabilitation clinics of Assiut University hospitals, Assiut, Egypt.
METHODS: This study involved 60 patients with chronic knee osteoarthritis. Radiofrequency neurotomy of the genicular nerves was done for 30 patients (Group A) while the other 30 patients (Group C) received conventional analgesics only. The outcome measures included visual analog scale (VAS), Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Index (WOMAC), and Likert scale for patient satisfaction in the 2nd week,3rd, and 6th months.
RESULTS: There were significant differences regarding the VAS in the 2nd week, 3rd, and 6th months between the 2 groups, and a significant difference in total WOMAC index in the 6th month only. There were significant changes when comparing pretreatment values with the values during the whole follow-up period with regard to the VAS and total WOMAC index in both groups.
LIMITATIONS: No diagnostic block was done prior to radiofrequency. We recommend the use of such a technique on a larger number of OA patients, with a longer follow-up period.
CONCLUSION: RF can ameliorate pain and disability in chronic knee osteoarthritis in a safe and effective manner.
KEY WORDS: Chronic pain, radiofrequency (RF), knee osteoarthritis