The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 32, Issue 3, 968 - 973

Selective Denervation for Persistent Knee Pain After Total Knee Arthroplasty: A Report of 50 Cases

Shi, Shao-Min et al.


Despite the general success of total knee arthroplasty (TKA), up to 20% of patients report dissatisfaction following surgery. One potential cause of this dissatisfaction is residual pain secondary to neuroma formation in the sensory nerve branches that innervate the knee. We found, after performing a retrospective review, that up to 9.7% of patients following primary TKA and up to 21% of revision cases exhibited persistent knee pain attributable to neuroma formation. Despite the high incidence of this pathology, little is known about the effective diagnosis or treatment of neuroma formation following TKA.


Between 2011 and 2014, 50 patients with persistent symptomatic neuroma pain following TKA underwent selective denervation. These patients had demonstrated the appropriate selection criteria and had failed conservative management. Patients were evaluated by the visual analog scale pain score and the Knee Society Score to determine the outcome of the described treatment.


Thirty-two patients (64%) rated their outcome as excellent, 10 (20%) as good, 3 (6%) as fair, and 2 (4%) reported no change. The mean visual analog scale pain score was improved from 9.4 ± 0.8 to 1.1 ± 1.6 following surgery (P ≤ .001). The mean Knee Society Scores increased from 45.5 ± 14.3 to 94.1 ± 8.6 points (P ≤ .0001). Three patients (6%) required the second neurectomy due to recurrent pain and received excellent pain relief postoperatively. There were 2 complications of superficial skin peri-incisional hyperemia related to dressings. Average follow-up duration was 24 months (range, 16-38 months).


Our study suggests that selective denervation provides an effective and long-lasting option for the management of this pathology.

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