Ultrasound-Guided Peripheral Nerve Stimulation for Knee Pain: A Mini-Review of the Neuroanatomy and the Evidence from Clinical Studies

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Lin C., Chang K., Wu W., ÖZÇAKAR L.

PAIN MEDICINE, vol.21, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 21
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1093/pm/pnz318
  • Journal Name: PAIN MEDICINE
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Psycinfo, SportDiscus
  • Keywords: Knee Surgery, Pain, Genicular Nerve, Ultrasonography, Electrical Stimulation, OSTEOARTHRITIS, PREVALENCE
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Objectives. Peri- and postoperative pain frequently develops after joint replacement for severe knee osteoarthritis. A continuous nerve block is commonly used for pain relief, but the risks of infection and catheter dislodgement should be considered. The present mini-review aimed to brief the innervation and neural sonoanatomy of the knee joint and summarize the newest evidence of peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS) use in the management of knee pain. Methods. We used a systematic approach to search for relevant articles. We used the combination of "peripheral nerve stimulation" and "knee pain" as the key words for the literature search using the electronic database without language or article type restriction. The search period was from the earliest record to August 2019. Results. The present review identified six studies, four of which were related to PNS for management of postoperative knee pain and two of which probed neuropathic pain. Most of the studies were either case series or case reports. Based on our search result, PNS is likely to be a feasible and safe treatment for knee pain, but its effectiveness remains uncertain. Conclusions. The present review reveals that PNS is feasible for the management of knee pain, especially in the postoperative period. The procedure is safe under ultrasound guidance used for proper placement of the electrodes near the target nerves. In the future, more prospective randomized controlled trials are needed to validate the effectiveness of PNS in acute and chronic knee pain.