Avoid Radiofrequency Treatment – It Makes Your Knee Arthritis Pain Worse!

This old-fashion knee pain treatment comes back into fashion now and then. And it’s a very bad knee treatment with terrible long-term results.

Basically, a radiofrequency needle is inserted through the skin and the knees pain nerves are burned away. Sounds like a great idea…

And the short term knee pain relief results are excellent but…

When the nerve grows back anywhere from 6-12 months or more – and they always do – your knee pain is twice as bad.

A recent study showed that this treatment was effective for helping with knee arthritis pain but they only reviewed up to 3 months.

If they had checked everyone after a year almost everyone would be in far more knee pain than before the treatment.


Here’s the study
Pain. 2011 Mar;152(3):481-7. Epub 2010 Nov 4.

Radiofrequency treatment relieves chronic knee osteoarthritis pain: a double-blind randomized controlled trial

Choi WJ, Hwang SJ, Song JG, Leem JG, Kang YU, Park PH, Shin JW.

Chronic osteoarthritis (OA) pain of the knee is often not effectively managed with current non-pharmacological or pharmacological treatments. Radiofrequency (RF) neurotomy is a therapeutic alternative for chronic pain. We investigated whether RF neurotomy applied to articular nerve branches (genicular nerves) was effective in relieving chronic knee arthritis joint pain.

The study involved 38 elderly patients with (a) severe knee arthritis pain lasting more than 3 months, (b) positive response to a diagnostic genicular nerve block and (c) no response to conservative treatments.

Patients were randomly assigned to receive percutaneous RF genicular neurotomy under fluoroscopic guidance (RF group; n=19) or the same procedure without effective neurotomy (control group; n=19). Visual analogue scale (VAS), Oxford knee scores, and global perceived effect on a 7-point scale were measured at baseline and at 1, 4, and 12weeks post-procedure. VAS scores showed that the RF group had less knee joint pain at 4 (p

Dr. Paul’s Comments- Yes longer follow-up is needed which will show this knee treatment doesn’t work!

Every long term follow-up we’ve done on patients that received this treatment were in more pain after 12 months. Everyone.