Radiofrequency ablation is a treatment that uses an electric current to heat up a small area of nerve tissue and block pain signals. The procedure can provide lasting relief for people experiencing chronic pain, especially in the lower back, neck, and arthritic joints.
Patients suffering from chronic pain who have not responded to other treatments, such as pain medication and physical therapy, may be good candidates for radiofrequency ablation.
Patients diagnosed with arthritis of the spine, sacroiliac joint inflammation, facet joint inflammation, and neck, back, knee, and peripheral nerve pain, may also benefit from radiofrequency ablation.
Symptoms of these conditions include:
Radiofrequency ablation can be an effective treatment for patients who have experienced good results from steroid injections, epidural injections, or nerve block injections. Patients with other health conditions or illnesses who may not be good candidates for traditional open surgery often consider radiofrequency ablation.
The procedure is not recommended for patients with an active infection, allergies to local anesthetics, or bleeding issues.
Patients should avoid drinking liquids and eating within six hours before the procedure. Clear liquids are permissible up until two hours before the appointment. Patients will receive detailed instructions regarding diet leading up to treatment.
The patient will lay on their stomach or back on an X-ray table and receive intravenous medication to help them relax. Next, the doctor will numb the treatment area with a local anesthetic and insert a thin needle. Under X-ray guidance, the doctor will identify the correct injection site.