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Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2019 Jul 8;23(8):55. doi: 10.1007/s11916-019-0792-y.

Systematic Review of Radiofrequency Ablation for Management of Knee Pain.

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Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Harvard Medical School, Department of Anesthesiology, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, Boston, MA, USA.
Department of Anesthesiology, Maimonides Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY, USA.
Department of Anesthesiology, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, 600 Highland Avenue, B6/319 CSC, Madison, WI, 53792-3272, USA.



Chronic pain of the lower extremity remains challenging to manage. Radiofrequency ablation procedure applies heat to nerve fibers with the goal of mitigating chronic pain conditions of the knee. However, the clinical efficacy has not yet been adequately established. The goal of this review paper is to report the use of radiofrequency ablations in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee.


PubMed and the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register were searched (final search 28 February 2018) using the MeSH terms "radiofrequency ablation," "neurolysis," "radiofrequency therapy," "pain syndrome," "analgesia," and "pain" in the English literature. Bibliographies of the published papers were screened for relevance to lower extremity radiofrequency ablation therapies. The quality of selected publications was assessed using the Cochrane risk of bias instrument. Of the 923 papers screened, 317 were further investigated for relevance. Our final search methodology yielded 19 studies that investigated the use of radiofrequency ablation at the knee. Of these 19 studies, there were four randomized control trials, two non-randomized control trials, three prospective studies, two retrospective studies, one case-control study, one technical report, and seven case reports. In summary, the data available suggests radiofrequency ablation as a promising and efficacious with all 19 studies revealing significant short- and long-term pain reductions in patients with knee pain.


Knee pain; Neurolysis; Pain therapy; RFA; Radiofrequency ablation; Radiofrequency therapy

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