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We all know that San Antonio has some beautiful spots to explore, from the River Walk downtown to hikes in the Hill Country; but if you are one of the many people who experience persistent knee pain, you may be unable to take full advantage of all the area has to offer. And there are, of course, many other reasons why knee pain can negatively affect your life.

Perhaps you have trouble standing up after sitting for a long period of time, lifting heavy objects, or going up and downstairs. Our knees take a lot of abuse throughout our life, and the Texas pain specialists at the offices of Dr. Raul Martinez understand how aggravating knee pain can be. Persistent pain can make you feel powerless, anxious, and depressed, but there is hope.

While there are many reasons for persistent knee pain, one major cause is irritation of the genicular nerves. This article will cover common knee nerve pain causes and symptoms, information about the genicular nerves and neuralgia (nerve pain), and how to treat knee nerve pain with a minimally-invasive procedure known as a genicular nerve block.

The Genicular Nerves: Pain Transmitting Nerves of the Knee Joint

Our knees support our body weight for our entire lives and are very often used all day, every day. The knee is a complex joint that consists of only three bones: the femur, patella (kneecap), and the tibia, as well a tangle of cartilage, ligaments, and tendons. Ligaments connect the bones to each other, tendons connect the muscles to the bones, and cartilage acts as a cushion and lubricant where bones meet. Any or all of these can cause pain, through branches of the following nerves throughout the leg:

  • Femoral
  • Common peroneal
  • Saphenous
  • Tibial
  • Obturator

The branches of the genicular nerves include:

  • Suprapatellar Branch
  • Recurrent tibial genicular nerves
  • Inferior medial
  • Superior medial
  • Inferior lateral
  • Superior lateral

Each of these knee nerve branches can send pain signals to your brain from different areas of your knee.

Common Knee Nerve Pain Causes and Symptoms

There are many reasons you might have knee pain, such as:

  • Inflammation in the knee, irritating the nerves
  • Prolonged compression of the nerves in the knee
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Meniscal tears or other injuries to the knee (such as ACL), from physical activity
  • Fractures
  • Tendinitis
  • Previous total or partial knee replacements
  • Degenerative joint disease

Besides general pain, you may experience some of the following symptoms associated with any of the above:

  • Weakness or instability in the knee joint
  • Inability to straighten your knee completely
  • “Popping” or “crunching” noises in your knee
  • Redness in the skin
  • Warm to the touch
  • Swelling and stiffness
  • Fever

Just as there are several reasons for knee pain and several associated symptoms, there are several ways to treat your knee pain, as we will see below.

How To Treat Knee Nerve Pain

Sometimes the best option for knee pain is surgery. But surgery is expensive, laborious, and requires significant recovery time. Another option is regenerative cell therapy, which can be very expensive. However, there is a third option, a short (five to ten minutes), very low-risk procedure called a genicular nerve block, which is, essentially, the application of a local anesthetic or steroid (through injection) into the genicular nerves at specified location(s) around the knee, thus blocking the nerves from sending pain signals and providing a tremendous amount of relief almost immediately. All of the injections performed by Dr. Martinez are closely monitored through fluoroscopic guidance or ultrasound.

It’s extremely important to treat your nerve pain, because limited mobility can lead to a host of other health problems, as well as the loss of independence, anxiety, and irritability. To learn even more about nerve block procedures, managing your knee pain, and customizable treatments (including surgical, non-surgical, and injection options), click here.

Contact the Offices of Dr. Raul Martinez

The Texas pain specialists at the offices of Dr. Raul Martinez in San Antonio have decades of experience helping people cope with their chronic and acute pain. We understand that severe, persistent pain affects your ability to participate in everyday activities and can quickly erode your quality of life. Visit us online to learn more and schedule your first visit so you can start your journey to recovery and get the relief you need and deserve.

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Woman holding neck in pain