Results from a recent clinical trial published by Wiley Arthritis and rheumatism show that patients with osteoarthritis of the knee experience short-term pain relief from genicular nerve blocks—or locally injected anesthetics that block nerves around the knee joint.
In the study, 59 patients were randomized to receive a nerve block or a placebo. At baseline and at weeks 2, 4, 8, and 12, participants rated their pain on a scale of 0 to 10.
Patients who received a nerve block reported improvements in pain levels at 2, 4, 8, and 12 weeks, compared to baseline, but with diminishing effects over time. Neuroblock vs placebo scores at baseline, weeks 2, 4, 8 and 12 were: 6.2 vs 5.3, 2.7 vs 4.7, 3.2 vs 5.1, 3.9 at versus 4.9 and 4.6 versus 5.1, respectively. Most patients who received the blocks felt that they had improved or greatly improved from baseline during the follow-up period.
“This study shows that genicular nerve block is an effective short-term treatment for pain management in people with osteoarthritis of the knee,” said corresponding author Ernst M. Shanahan, BMBS, MPH, MHPE, Ph.D., FAFOEM, FRACP, of Flinders. university, in Australia. “We think it could be a useful treatment option for this group of people, especially those waiting for or wanting to delay surgery.”
Ernst M. Shanahan et al., Genicular nerve block for pain management in patients with knee osteoarthritis: A randomized placebo-controlled trial, Arthritis and rheumatism (2022). DOI: 10.1002/art.42384
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