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Radiofrequency Ablation for Pain Management

Radiofrequency Ablation for Pain Management

Radiofrequency ablation (RFA), is a new pain management technique that involves delivering radiofrequency to specific nerves with the goal of interrupting pain signals to the brain. The procedure is nonsurgical and can help patients with chronic pain obtain relief. 

Here at aCELLerated Interventional Orthopedics, Dr. Brian K. Rich diagnoses and treats a full range of orthopedic pain conditions, including neck and back pain. Dr. Rich works closely with you to understand your pain and find effective solutions to help you get on the path to feeling good again. He explains how RFA can treat your pain.

How RFA can help you get pain relief

RFA is beneficial for treating chronic neck, back, and joint pain. It’s a nonsurgical technique that uses radiowaves to generate heat, which disables nerves that are responsible for transmitting pain signals to the brain.

Pain management with RFA can be an excellent option for those suffering from arthritis-related pain. It’s used to treat pain in the facet joints and sacroiliac joints, which can cause chronic neck and lower back pain. 

Each vertebral level of the spine has a pair of small facet joints that are connected to two medial branch nerves that carry signals, including pain signals, from the joints to the spine and brain. The sacroiliac joints are located between the sacrum and the ilium in the pelvis, and are also connected to nerves that carry signals to other parts of the body.

RFA effectively disrupts pain signals sent from these nerves so you experience relief from related pain. Treatment may provide pain relief for at least 6 months, with some patients reporting relief for up to a year. Many patients return to work, participate in their favorite activities, and live a pain-free life thanks to treatment with RFA.

The RFA procedure

RFA is a minimally invasive procedure that requires no general anesthesia. You lie on your stomach or on your side during the procedure. 

After numbing a small area, Dr. Rich directs a special radiofrequency needle alongside the targeted nerves using X-ray guidance. A small amount of electrical current is passed through a probe to the targeted nerve to confirm the proper position. You may experience brief discomfort or a muscle twitch at this point.

Once Dr. Rich determines the proper position, more local anesthetic is administered to the area where the RFA will be performed. You may feel a mild warm sensation during the procedure. Depending on the treatment site and the number of treatments performed, the procedure may take one to two hours.

Advantages of RFA for pain management

Here are just some of the benefits of RFA:

RFA is a safe and proven treatment capable of interrupting pain signals. It may be appropriate for patients with the following conditions:

Pain relief can be immediate in some people, or it may take several days to a few weeks.

Our aCELLerated Interventional Orthopedic team is dedicated to providing you with comprehensive, compassionate care. When you meet with our board-certified physician, he conducts a thorough examination, determines the source of your pain, and discusses the best treatment options.

Our team has extensive experience treating and managing chronic pain. Call today to learn more about what aCELLerated Interventional Orthopedics can do for you.

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