Genicular Nerve Block – All you need to know
What is a genicular nerve block?
A Genicular nerve block is used for chronic pain relief. It is an injection of a numbing agent, such as local anesthetic or steroid, into or near a nerve that provides sensation to one area of the body. It works by blocking sensations from traveling from that area of the body to the brain.
There are three main types of genicular nerve blocks:
- Lateral femoral cutaneous nerve block
- Medial femoral cutaneous nerve block,
- Sciatic nerve block.
What is a genicular nerve block for?
A genicular nerve block is a surgical procedure that anesthesiologists use to numb your pain and discomfort.
- To relieve post-operative pain and swelling after surgery on a knee or hip joint
- To decrease symptoms of arthritis, osteoarthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis -to provide relief from chronic back pain
- To relieve chronic neuropathic (nerve) pain from diabetes, cancer, or multiple sclerosis
- In general anesthesia during surgery
What are the benefits of a GNB?
Benefits of a genicular nerve block include-
- It is minimally invasive
- It is reversible and there are no long-term side effects
- Recovery from the surgery is quick.
How long does a GNB?
The effects of a genicular nerve block last for up to three months, with some patients experiencing relief for up to six months. The procedure can take anywhere from 10 minutes up to an hour or more, depending on how many nerves need anesthesia. Recovery time is minimal, and most patients can go back to their regular activities the same day. The effects of the block are not only localized to the area in which it was administered but also affect any other parts of the body that are innervated by that nerve.
How successful is GNB?
The success rate of a GNB is very high, with more than 90% of people seeing pain relief. The most common side effects reported are numbness, tingling, and loss of sensation in the foot. For some people, these symptoms can last up to 3 months or longer following treatment. You may also experience some degree of weakness as you heal from surgery. To avoid this complication, it’s important that you don’t put weight on your operated leg until advised by your doctor or physical therapist.
Risks associated with a genicular nerve block?
A GNB is a technique that numbs an entire leg. The risks of this procedure are minimal and include bruising or bleeding in the area around where the injection was administered. These side effects should resolve within a week or so. Rarely, inflammation from the injection can cause weakness in part of your leg. Although there is not currently any long-term data on how often this happens. It’s not known if these symptoms ever go away completely.
How do I prepare for a genicular nerve block?
The day of the surgery, it is important to eat a light meal. Drink plenty of fluids and take any medications you normally take. You can also take over-the-counter pain medication in advance of surgery if needed.
How Can Elite Pain and Spine Help?
At Elite Pain and Spine, we believe in looking at all possible causes of your symptoms and helping you manage your condition to give you a better quality of life. The best results can only be achieved if you are committed to follow through with all aspects of treatment plan that includes managing lifestyle factors such as stress and diet.