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An Overview of Genicular Nerve Ablation

Dr Brian Klagges, MD

Dr. Brian Klagges received his MD from the Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, part of the State University of New York system. He serves as the director of interventional pain management at the Interventional Spine Center at Elliot Hospital and as an anesthesiologist and pain interventionist with Amoskeag Anesthesia. In these positions, Dr. Brian Klagges performs a variety of procedures, including genicular nerve ablation.

Also known as genicular neurotomy, genicular nerve ablation is an innovative treatment for knee pain caused by conditions such as osteoarthritis and degenerative joint disease. Minimally invasive, genicular nerve ablation is often used to treat patients who are not eligible for knee replacement surgery or for people who continue to have knee pain after surgery.
The procedure, performed outside the knee capsule, sends radiofrequency waves to the genicular nerves, or nerves around the knee. The radiofrequency waves prevent the nerves from sending pain messages from the knee joint to the brain.
No medication is injected into the knee, nor are any steroids used in the procedure, which takes 10 to 15 minutes. Patients may go home after being observed for another 15 minutes.
Most insurance plans cover genicular nerve ablation, and the procedure is inexpensive compared to traditional joint replacement surgeries. Since genicular nerve ablation is minimally invasive, patients have a smaller risk of infection and do not need blood thinners. Virtually no recovery period is necessary following the procedure, and patients can return to normal activities within a few days.

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