Cooled radio frequency denervation can provide significant pain relief from osteoarthritis of the hip and knee for patients who have not had benefit from lifestyle modifications or relief with simple over-the-counter analgesics. These patients also have not had long-lasting pain relief from injection of medication into the joints.
This procedure can also be done when pain is unrelieved following joint replacement or when intra-articular injections are no longer recommended. Usually, a diagnostic test will be performed first in which your doctor will place local anesthesia only along the nerves supplying the joint. If you have significant benefit for the length of the local anesthesia, this is considered a positive test, and you would be a candidate for the cooled radiofrequency procedure.
Typically pain relief is felt shortly after the procedure, but it may take up to 4 weeks to have full benefit.
Although extremely rare, risks may include bleeding; infection; allergic reaction to medication; damage to tendons, muscles and joints; and prolonged increase in pain. Rarely, one may experience a painful sensation in the skin above where the procedure was performed, which is typically short-lived and treated with a short course of oral medication. Your experienced pain management physician at the Center for Pain Management will take all necessary precautions to try to prevent these complications.