Knee osteoarthritis may be successfully treated with thermal nerve radiofrequency ablation
Thermal nerve radiofrequency ablation – when radiofrequency waves are used to ablate (burn) the nerve that is causing pain, eliminating the transmission of pain signals to the brain – seems to be more effective than using painkillers or injections of corticosteroids for knee osteoarthritis.
A new review of the published evidence found seven trials of high enough quality to analyse. The team involved found there was consistent agreement in favour of nerve thermal radiofrequency ablation use for nonsurgical treatment of knee osteoarthritis.
The procedure seems to help reduce pain, improve function and quality of life more than injections of corticosteroids and hyaluronic acid. And there were no serious side effects.
“These results demonstrate geniculate nerve thermal radiofrequency ablation to be a superior nonsurgical treatment of knee osteoarthritis compared with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and intra-articular corticosteroid injections,” the team highlights. “None of the randomised controlled trials reported any serious adverse events with geniculate nerve thermal radiofrequency ablation, as opposed to known cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and renal adverse events for NSAIDs and accelerated cartilage loss and periprosthetic infection risk for intra-articular corticosteroid injections.”
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