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An Overview of Genicular Block/Radiofrequency Ablation

Back Pain Treatment Options Spine Center of Texas

A Genicular Block/Radiofrequency Ablation is a non-surgical procedure performed by a physician to help relieve chronic knee pain. The technique is relatively new and works by interrupting pain impulses sent from the genicular nerves, located in the knee, to the brain. Because of the chronic nature of the knee pain, these signals are no longer beneficial. Interrupting the transmission of them can help decrease pain and contribute to improving function.  Genicular Block/Radiofrequency Ablation can be conducted on an outpatient basis and may be an effective alternative to surgery.

The physician begins the procedure by giving the individual a dose of medication to make them drowsy. Three needles, guided by x-ray, are then placed in specific areas around the knee’s nerve locations. Two needles are inserted above the knee, and one is placed below. X-ray is used to confirmed correct needle placement. Next, the genicular block part of the procedure is performed, involving deadening the area with a with a local anesthetic. Once this is complete, the physician uses radiofrequency ablation to heat the needles, which eliminates the nerve’s ability to send the pain signals.

Pain relief will be virtually immediate, but some discomfort will be present in the procedure area for or a few weeks. The tenderness can be resolved by using cold packs and physician recommended medications.


Genicular Block/Radiofrequency Ablation can be used to treat the following conditions:

  • Osteoarthritis in the knee joint
  • Degenerative Joint Disease
  • Chronic knee pain before or after partial or total knee replacement
  • Individuals who are not candidates for or wish to avoid or complete knee replacement


Genicular Block/Radiofrequency Ablation may be done before or after surgery and may be a good choice for people with hypertension or diabetes who aren’t candidates for steroid injections.


If you have knee pain unrelieved by other types of treatment and would like to find out if you can be evaluated for an SI injection, please contact us at either our New Braunfels or Seguin offices.

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