How Does Nerve Ablation Work?

Dr. Brian Klagges, an accomplished anesthesiologist in New Hampshire, provides interventional care at Amoskeag Anesthesia. Also the director of the Elliot Hospital interventional pain management program, Dr. Brian Klagges offers genicular nerve ablation for patients with severe arthritis in the knee.

By definition, nerve ablation involves the destruction of nerves that are causing a patient to experience chronic pain. To determine whether the procedure is likely to be effective, a surgeon will likely begin by performing a nerve block test. By numbing the target nerves, the surgeon can determine whether permanent ablation would have the desired effect.

Patients who respond positively to the nerve block test may be approved to receive permanent ablation. A surgeon performs the procedure with the patient under a local anesthetic which numbs the area to be treated. With the aid of real-time X-ray technology, the surgeon directs the ablation device under the skin and toward the nerves that have been determined to be the source of the pain. The ablation of a single nerve typically lasts for 60 seconds, and the full procedure is often complete in 20 minutes. Most patients can return to normal activity levels within two days.

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