Motor-Sparing Neural Ablation with Modified Techniques for Knee Pain: Case Series on Knee Osteoarthritis and Updated Review of the Underlying Anatomy and Available Techniques

Tony Kwun-tung Ng, King Hei Stanley Lam and Abdallah El-Sayed Allam

BioMed Research International, Volume 2022, Article ID 2685898


Knee osteoarthritis (KOA) is ubiquitous. However, effective pain managements for patients with grades 3 or 4 KOA for whom conservative treatments are unsuccessful, but for whom surgery is not an option, remain lacking. This case series presented two motor-sparing interventional pain treatment modalities for five such patients. Three of the patients with a mean total WOMAC score of 41 underwent thermal radiofrequency (RF) ablation using a modified motor-sparing approach. One-week and four-week post-RF, the total score dropped to 27 (by 34%) and 19 (dropped 53.7%), respectively. Two other similar patients with a mean total WOMAC score 96 underwent chemical neurolysis using a motor-sparing approach with modified landmarks. The WOMAC score dropped to 58.5 (by 39.1%) and 49 (dropped by 49.0%), one-week and four-week postchemical neurolysis, respectively. A narrative review of the currently available approaches is also provided, with the conclusion that neural ablation using the modified landmarks approach may achieve better pain control and preserve the motor functions for patients with severe KOA for whom conservative treatment was unsuccessful and who are not candidates for surgery.

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