Treating painful knee osteoarthritis

Flinders researchers will investigate whether a simple injection could better manage the pain of patients with knee osteoarthritis.

Professor Michael Shanahan, Professor of Musculoskeletal Medicine and Head of Rheumatology, Southern Adelaide Local Health Network, will trial a nerve block injection near the knee on a group of patients experiencing knee pain to numb the geniculate nerve which supplies pain fibres to the knee.

A second group of patients with knee pain will receive a placebo injection, helping to determine whether this treatment could be a useful therapy for people with painful osteoarthritis.

If it this treatment is found to be safe and effective, it may provide a better treatment option than those currently available, and may be particularly helpful for those waiting for knee replacement surgery or those people not fit for knee replacement surgery. 

Knee osteoarthritis is the cause of a significant burden of disease to Australians, with public hospital waitlists for joint replacement surgery lengthy, often leaving many in pain and disability.

This project seeks to discover if a nerve block is a safe and effective treatment for patients with painful knee osteoarthritis.


Project title: Genicular nerve block from the management of Knee Osteoarthritis:  A Randomized Controlled Trial. 

Lead researcher: Professor Michael Shanahan

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