A Genicular Nerve Block is a local anaestheic injection which blocks nerves from transmitting pain signals back to the brain. If this procedure elicits a positive response then Genicular Nerve Radiofrequency Neurotomy may be offered which involes pulsing a radiofrequency signal on to the nerve in order to try and modulate its function, reducing pain over an extended period of time.
How long does it last?
On average, patients experience alleviated pain for between 9 and 12 months however can range between 3 and 24 months. This procedure is not guaranteed to be effective and pain may return after the nerves repair.
Will I Be Awake and Is It Painful?
Sedation is a popular option that reduces discomfort during the procedure. You will receive a local anaesthetic to numb the area and short-lived pain may be experienced once the numbing injection wears off.
You should notify the specialists if you are: taking blood thinners; diabetic; pregnant; allergic; or unwell. Before the procedure, you should: avoid eating for 6 hours; continue to drink clear liquids until 3 hours prior; arrange for a family member or friend to accompany you.
What Happens After?
You will be placed in a recovery area for up to 90 minutes and are required to have someone with you overnight. For 24 hours you should refrain from driving, alcohol, machinery and important decisions. When you wash, you are required to take the dressing off.
What does the procedure involve?
The procedure involves: Changing into a hospital gown; Speaking to an anaesthetist if you are having sedation; You may have a small cannula inserted; Your heart rate, oxygen levels and blood pressure will be monitored throughout the procedure; The skin over the area to be injected will be cleaned.; Local anaesthetic will be injected into your skin.; Using an x-ray machine, a needle will be guided toward the target. If necessary, x-ray dye may be used to confirm the needle is in the correct position. Prior to the needle tip being heated, further local anaesthetic will be injected. The temperature of the tip of the needle is raised and if required, multiple injections will be used. A final injection of anaesthetic and steroid may be administered. Generally the procedure takes between 40-60 minutes.
Bruising; Bleeding; Infection; Discomfort at the site of the injection; Allergic reactions; The procedure may fail to alleviate pain.
It is vital that you are fully informed of the procedure, what is involved, potential risks and side effects. You will be asked to sign a consent form. If you have any questions or concerns, please discuss these with your specialist. This form states you understand the potential benefits, risks, alternatives and what will occur if you do not go ahead with the procedure. You are free to withdraw consent at any stage up until the start of the procedure.