Interventional radiology techniques for pain reduction and mobility improvement in patients with knee osteoarthritis

Diagn Interv Imaging. 2019 Jul-Aug;100(7-8):391-400. doi: 10.1016/j.diii.2019.02.011. Epub 2019 Mar 29.


Osteoarthritis of the knee is the most common cause of chronic knee pain being more prevalent in middle-aged and elderly patients. Symptomatic patients complain of pain and mobility impairment. Therapeutic armamentarium includes physical therapy, oral pharmacologic therapy, intra-articular injections, nerve ablation or modulation, trans-catheter arterial embolization, minimally invasive arthroscopic treatment and partial or total knee arthroplasty. Interventional radiology therapies for knee osteoarthritis include intra-articular injections, neurotomy and neuromodulation techniques as well as transcatheter intra-arterial therapies. These therapies aim to control pain and inflammation, improve mobility and function whilst the novel cell-based therapies have the potential for bone and cartilage regenerative repair facilitating the delay to surgery. The purpose of this review is to illustrate the technical aspects, the indications and the methodology of local therapies for knee osteoarthritis performed by interventional radiologists and provide current evidence.

Keywords: Interventional radiology; Intra-articular injections; Knee; Osteoarthritis; Pain.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Denervation
  • Embolization, Therapeutic
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Hyaluronic Acid / therapeutic use
  • Injections, Intra-Articular
  • Knee Joint / diagnostic imaging*
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation
  • Mobility Limitation
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / diagnostic imaging
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / therapy*
  • Platelet-Rich Plasma
  • Radiology, Interventional*
  • Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation
  • Viscosupplements / therapeutic use


  • Glucocorticoids
  • Viscosupplements
  • Hyaluronic Acid