Radiofrequency Nerve Ablation

Radiofrequency nerve ablation (also known as radiofrequency lesioning, or neurotomy) is an emerging therapy in pain medicine that uses a specialized device to disrupt nerve conduction on a semi-permanent basis.

With radiofrequency treatment, the nerves are usually blocked for 6-9 months, but relief can be as short as 3 months or as long at 18 months for some patients. This nerve ablation pain relief technique can be used successfully for those with back pain, neck pain, muscle pain, or other discomforts. A probe is inserted through a needle and controlled delivery of heat is placed along a painful nerve. Radiofrequency uses heat to disrupt the nerves conductivity.

What are the Advantages of Radiofrequency Nerve Ablation?

  • Pain relief up to 18 months
  • Minimally invasive
  • Short recovery
  • High success rates
  • Local anesthesia
  • Minimal or no blood loss
  • Same day, outpatient procedure

What Conditions can be Treated by Radiofrequency Nerve Ablation?

Conditions commonly treated with radiofrequency nerve ablation include the following:

  • Spinal arthritis
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Facet arthritis
  • Whiplash
  • Sprains & Strains

How is Radiofrequency Nerve Ablation Performed?

Nerve ablation of facet joints is performed in an operative setting using mild sedation and local anesthetics. Fluoroscopic x-ray guidance allows the physician to accurately position the radiofrequency ablation probe adjacent to the medial branch nerves to be treated. The nerve is then heated to 80 degrees C using a radiofrequency generator. Radiofrequency ablation treatment is a safe and well-tolerated method selected to treat chronic pain caused by a variety of conditions. If your pain responds well to an initial treatment, a follow-up treatment may be helpful.

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