What is a Nerve Block for Knee Pain?
Nerve Block for Knee Pain
The knee is one of the most important weight-bearing joints in the human body. You use the knee joint to stand, squat, move, twist, and support your entire body weight. Consequently, the knee joint undergoes considerable wear and tear throughout your life, leading to a high risk of knee joint pain and knee injuries. You may suffer from knee pain because of injuries, knee osteoarthritis, failed surgeries, diseases, and the normal aging process.
Chronic knee pain can dramatically affect your ability to work and lead an active life. If you have knee osteoarthritis, the symptoms probably persist even while lying down or sitting. As knee osteoarthritis progresses further, you may suffer from knee pain, knee joint stiffness, and other problems. If you have knee pain, your knee pain doctor may start your pain management journey with conservative treatments, such as physical therapy and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs).
But if conservative treatments fail, your knee pain doctor may recommend a genicular nerve block for knee pain. The genicular nerve block addresses the arteries (femoral and popliteal) and nerves that enter the knee joint and deliver pain signals. The nerve block is an injection that temporarily blocks painful nerve signals in the knee, thus alleviating knee pain. A genicular nerve block only offers temporary knee pain relief, but it can diagnose the root cause of knee pain and pave the way for long-lasting solutions.
Knee Pain Doctor NYC is a group of state-of-the-art interventional pain management specialists with advanced training in knee pain treatments. Our knee pain doctors use cutting-edge diagnostic tools and techniques to identify the root cause of knee pain. After a thorough evaluation and diagnosis, our knee pain doctors curate a personalized pain management process, which may consist of physical therapy, NSAIDs, nerve blocks, and nerve ablation. You can find our knee pain doctor in Midtown Manhattan or the Financial District.
Please schedule an appointment with our knee pain doctors in New York City.
Your Knee Pain Management Journey
Our interventional pain specialists use cutting-edge diagnostic tools and techniques to determine the root cause of knee pain. During your consultation, the knee pain doctor may administer numerous imaging tests, such as x-rays and CT scans, to visualize the knee joint and look for damages. After identifying the possible root cause of knee pain, our doctors initiate your knee pain management journey. Below, we highlight the potential stages of your knee pain management journey — the specific details may vary from patient to patient.
Stage 1: Physical Therapy & NSAIDs
Your knee pain management journey will usually start with non-invasive techniques, such as physical therapy and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Knee osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage covering the ends of the knee joints breaks down or thin, leading to inflammation of the knee joint. Physical therapy can improve mobility and strengthen the surrounding muscles and NSAIDs can reduce inflammation, thus alleviating knee pain. Your knee pain doctor may also offer a knee brace to immobilize the knee and promote healing.
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Stage 2: Nerve Blocks
If physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, and knee braces don’t work, you may proceed with nerve blocks for knee pain. The genicular nerves around the knee (one on the inside of the knee, one outside the knee, and one at the bottom of the knee) are responsible for delivering pain signals to the brain. During genicular nerve block treatments, the knee pain doctor injects a local anesthetic and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication into one of the three genicular nerves under ultrasound guidance.
The lidocaine injection temporarily numbs the targeted nerve, and the anti-inflammatory medicine reduces inflammation. If the first genicular nerve block doesn’t work, the knee pain doctor may target the second nerve and then the third. Once you experience pain relief, the knee pain doctor will identify the nerve responsible for the pain signals. As such, nerve blocks provide temporary relief and serve a diagnostic purpose, allowing knee pain doctors to identify the specific nerves they need to target.
Stage 3: Radiofrequency Ablation
Nerve blocks temporarily anesthetize the targeted genicular nerves and reduce inflammation — they don’t address the root cause of knee pain. Radiofrequency ablation is the ideal next step after a nerve block because it ensures more long-lasting results. Radiofrequency ablation involves delivering thermal energy into the targeted genicular nerve to destroy it completely and prevent it from sending pain signals to the brain. This procedure ensures long-lasting results.
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Stage 4: Knee Replacement (Last Resort)
Knee replacement is a surgical procedure wherein the damaged knee joint is replaced with an artificial one. This is a complex surgical procedure that must be reserved as a last resort option. Your knee pain doctor should only recommend a knee replacement if you have undergone conservative and minimally invasive knee pain treatments for several months without lasting knee pain relief or results.
Recovery and Side Effects After Nerve Blocks
A genicular nerve block is a minimally invasive procedure that targets the superior medial nerve of the knee joint with anesthesia to prevent it from sending pain signals to the brain. The procedure is painless, but you might feel a pinch when the needle enters your skin. The most common side effects include redness, discomfort, swelling, and bruising around the injection sites. Nerve blocks produce instant pain relief, which should last for a few hours.
If you have persistent knee pain, please schedule an appointment with our knee pain doctors in New York to determine if you’re a candidate for nerve blocks for knee pain.
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KNOW OUR TEAM OF HARVARD TRAINED KNEE SPECIALISTS
Knee Pain Doctor in New York
Dr. Michael Nguyen
Dr. Michael is available for Knee Pain treatment consultations in Manhattan, New York.
Knee Pain Doctor in New Jersey
Dr. George Hanna
Dr. Hanna is available for Knee Pain treatment consultations in Manhattan, New York.
Knee Pain Doctor in New York
Dr. Shane Volney
Dr. Volney is available for Knee Pain treatment consultations in Manhattan, New York.
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