J Knee Surg 2019; 32(01): 065-071
DOI: 10.1055/s-0038-1675418
Special Focus Section
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Cooled Radio Frequency Ablation for the Treatment of Osteoarthritis-Related Knee Pain: Evidence, Indications, and Outcomes

Lasun O. Oladeji
1  Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri
James L. Cook
2  Missouri Orthopaedic Institute, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

29 June 2018

16 September 2018

Publication Date:
05 November 2018 (eFirst)


Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is a common condition associated with pain and physical impairment in a large segment of the population. The traditional treatment algorithm progresses from conservative modalities to nonsurgical options to surgical intervention. Surgical intervention often provides reliable pain relief but not all patients are surgical candidates and there are some patients who prefer not to have surgery. Cooled radio frequency ablation (C-RFA) is a treatment with the potential to provide pain relief for patients who no longer benefit from noninvasive modalities and who desire an alternative to surgery. The objective of this review article is to provide the rationale, available evidence, indications, and outcomes associated with C-RFA for the treatment of chronic knee OA. A total of eight reports that use C-RFA in the treatment of chronic knee pain were identified and analyzed. There were two prospective trials, one retrospective cohort study, and five case reports or case series. C-RFA is an emerging procedure with encouraging early results; however, additional long-term prospective clinical trials are necessary to further characterize how C-RFA can best be used to treat chronic knee pain.