Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) of the articular branches innervating the anterior knee capsule has been studied as a possible alternative to surgery for degenerative arthritis. However, the neurovascular topography of the anterior knee capsule remains unclear.
One leg from each of the 20 formalin-embalmed cadaveric specimens was investigated. Modified ablation points (MAPs) were evaluated for a possible alternative for conventional target points (CAPs).
For the nerve to vastus medialis (NVM), the probability of identifying the nerve was higher at MAP compared with CAP (62.5% vs. 25%). The mean shortest distance from the nerve was shorter at MAP compared with CAP (18.0 mm vs. 29.9 mm). The probabilities and distances for other nerves were not significantly different between the points. However, the probability of identifying the artery was significantly lower at MAPs compared with CAPs for arteries (0%, 5.3%, and 0% vs. 84.2%, 84.2%, and 73.3% for superior medial genicular, superior lateral genicular, and inferior medial genicular artery, respectively). For the recurrent peroneal nerve (RPN), a new target point was set in MAPs.
The current landmark for genicular nerve procedures may not accurately target the correct nerve position, or reduce the risk for vessel damage. A more proximal target may reduce complications and increase the probability of successful procedures, although clinical correlation is needed.

Copyright © 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.