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Cooled radiofrequency ablation better than steroids for knee osteoarthritis

07 Nov 2017

Compared with injection of intra-articular steroids (IAS), cooled radiofrequency ablation (CRFA) is more effective at long-term pain management and physical function improvement for painful knee osteoarthritis (OA), a new study suggests.

The prospective randomized trial included 151 chronic knee pain patients who were unresponsive to conventional, conservative treatment approaches, and who were randomized in a 1:1 ratio to receive either IAS (n=75; mean age at consent 66±13 years) or CRFA (n=76; mean age at consent 63±12 years). Follow-up visits were at 1, 3 and 6 months postintervention.

The research team compared the primary efficacy endpoint, defined as the proportion of patients with at least 50-percent reduction in knee pain from baseline, between the two treatment groups. Analgesic use, knee function and adverse events (AEs) were included as secondary endpoints.

While baseline pain scores for the CRFA (7.3±1.2) and IAS (7.2±1) groups were not significantly different from each other, scores for the CRFA group were significantly lower at 1 (3±2.3 v 3.9±2.2; p=0.025), 3 (2.8±2.2 v 5.2±2; p<0.0001) and 6 (2.5±2.3 vs 5.9±2.2; p<0.0001) months. Reduction in pain scores were significant for both groups (p<0.0001 at each time point) relative to baseline.

Moreover, a significantly larger proportion of the CRFA group met the criteria for a successful outcome at 6 months compared with the IAS group (74 v 16 percent; p<0.0001). In contrast, there were more nonresponders in the IAS than CRFA group (83.8 vs 25.9 percent).

“[T]he findings of this study indicate that CRFA for genicular nerve ablation is superior to a single corticosteroid injection in [OA patients] for managing knee pain,” said the researchers.

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Most Read Articles
18 Apr 2018
Higher intake levels of coffee appear to be associated with reduced risk of developing chronic kidney disease, according to data from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study.
Jairia Dela Cruz, 5 days ago
Infants delivered via caesarean section may be at increased risk of developing acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, according to a US study. Altered microbiota colonization is a possible explanation for this risk, although clear biological mechanisms have yet to be established.
5 days ago
Treatment with danegaptide does not improve myocardial salvage in patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) undergoing primary percutaneous coronary intervention, according to the results of a phase II study.
4 days ago
Men with high levels of exposure to diesel exhaust are at greater risk of developing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (AML), as shown in a recent study. This is not true for women.