Cooled radiofrequency ablation (CRFA) gives better pain reduction and functional improvement than steroid injections.
The procedure uses radiofrequency energy to interrupt pain transmission from the genicular nerve in the knee. The procedure is done on an outpatient basis with local anesthesia and minimal sedation.
Recent study: After one month, patients in a clinical trial who gave their initial pain scores as seven on a 10-point scale gave a score of four if they had steroid shots and three if they had CRFA. After six months, 74% of CRFA patients had at least a one-half reduction in pain scores, compared with 16% of those who had steroid injections.
Further research is planned. Availability, cost and insurance coverage for CRFA vary, ask your doctor.
Source: Bottom Line Personal 3-2018 Leonardo Kapural, MD, PhD, pain physician, Carolinas Pain Institute and Center for Clinical Research, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and leader of a study of 151 patients, published in Regional Anesthesia of Pain Medicine.
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