Anesthetics that block nerves around the knee relieve pain in patients with knee osteoarthritis

Results from a recent clinical trial published by Wiley in Arthritis & Rheumatology demonstrate that patients with knee osteoarthritis experience short term pain relief from genicular nerve blocks—or locally injected anesthetics that block nerves around the knee joint.

Sara Henning-Stout, Wiley, EurekAlert! November 12, 2022

In the trial, 59 patients were randomized to receive a nerve block or a placebo injection. At baseline and weeks 2, 4, 8 and 12, participants recorded their pain on a scale of 0 to 10.

Patients who received a nerve block reported improvement in pain scores at 2, 4, 8 and 12 weeks, compared with baseline, but with diminishing effects over time. Scores for nerve block versus placebo at baseline, weeks 2, 4, 8 and 12 were: 6.2 versus 5.3, 2.7 versus 4.7, 3.2 versus 5.1, 3.9 versus 4.9, and 4.6 versus 5.1, respectively. Most patients who received the blocks felt they had improved or greatly improved from baseline during the follow up period.

“This study demonstrates that genicular nerve block is an effective short-term therapy for pain management in people with knee osteoarthritis,” said corresponding author Ernst M. Shanahan, BMBS, MPH, MHPE, PhD, FAFOEM, FRACP, of Flinders University, in Australia. “We think it may be a useful treatment option for this group of people, in particular those waiting for, or wishing to defer surgery.”

Source EurekAlert! AAAS


Genicular nerve block for pain management in patients with knee osteoarthritis: A randomised placebo-controlled trial, Ernst M. Shanahan, Lucinda Robinson, Suellen Lyne, Richard Woodman, Fin Cai, Kokum Dissanayake, Kate Paddick, Giovanna Cheung, and Frank Voyvodic. Arthritis & Rheumatology; Published Online: November 12, 2022 DOI: 10.1002/art.42384. Full text, PDF

  Further reading

A Review of Non-Surgical Pain Management in Osteoarthritis, Jadidi S. Cureus. 2020 Oct 6;12(10):e10829. doi: 10.7759/cureus.10829. Erratum in: Cureus. 2021 Jul 14;13(7):c45. Full text, PDF

Erratum in Correction: A Review of Non-Surgical Pain Management in Osteoarthritis, Shah N, Jadidi S, Bajaj P. Cureus. 2021 Jul 14;13(7):c45. doi: 10.7759/cureus.c45. Erratum for: Cureus. 2020 Oct 6;12(10):e10829. Full text, PDF

Lower limb kinematics improvement after genicular nerve blockade in patients with knee osteoarthritis: a milestone study using inertial sensors, Lebleu J, Fonkoue L, Bandolo E, Fossoh H, Mahaudens P, Cornu O, Detrembleur C. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2020 Dec 7;21(1):822. doi: 10.1186/s12891-020-03836-8. Full text, PDF

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