Turkish Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2016 , Vol 62 , Num 3

Radiofrequency thermocoagulation on genicular nerves in chronic knee osteoarthritis: A pilot study for a new alternative therapy

Sinem Sarı 1 ,Pınar Özlülerden 2 ,Osman Nuri Aydın 2 ,Yasemin Turan 3 ,İmran Kurt 4 ,Ufuk Efe 1
1 Adnan Menderes Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi, Anesteziyoloji Anabilim Dalı, Aydın, Türkiye
2 Adnan Menderes Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi, Algoloji Bilim Dalı, Aydın, Türkiye
3 Adnan Menderes Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi, Fizik Tedavi ve Rehabilitasyon Anabilim Dalı, Aydın, Türkiye
4 Adnan Menderes Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi, İstatistik Anabilim Dalı, Aydın, Türkiye
DOI : 10.5152/tftrd.2015.88724 Objectives: This study aims to investigate the efficiency of radiofrequency thermocoagulation on genicular nerve (RFTGN) application on knee osteoarthritis (OA) pain and loss of function.

Patients and methods: Between February 2015 and May 2015, a total of 40 patients (8 males, 32 females; mean age 63.9±9.2 years; range 50 to 80 years) with knee OA pain, that has continued for at least three months and has not responded to conservative treatments, were included in the study. All patients were performed RFTGN under fluoroscopy. Visual analog scale (VAS) pain scores and the Western Ontario McMasters Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) were applied to patients before the procedure, one month and three months after the procedure. Pain and functional status in the first month and third month were assessed according to the situation before the procedure.

Results: A significant decrease was observed in the patients’ VAS scores in the first and third month after the RFTGN application (p<0.001). In addition to this, more than half of the patients had VAS scores of 4 and above in the third month. Decrease in WOMAC pain, stiffness and function subgroup scores, and WOMAC total score in the first and third month was significant (p<0.001). No side effects were seen in any of the patients.

Conclusion: As a result of our study, we conclude that RFTGN application is an effective, minimally invasive method for the treatment of chronic knee OA pain and loss of function. However, these findings should be supported by longer-term studies conducted in controlled, randomized and larger groups. Keywords : Genicular nerve; knee; osteoarthritis; radiofrequency thermocoagulation