Radiofrequency Ablation is a procedure that is minimally invasive, using a local anesthetic and mild sensation, guided by fluoroscopy – a dynamic x-ray. It does not involve injections. Radiofrequency ablations are used to treat several conditions including sports injuries, chronic low-back pain, neck pain, and arthritic degeneration of joints.
With the patient lying on a table, the targeted area is cleansed and numbed. With fluoroscopic guidance, the doctor locates the nerve and sends a light electrical current to verify the medial branch nerve has been located. The nerve will be numbed and radiofrequency will create a lesion so that this nerve can no longer transmit pain signals. The process is repeated on other nerves if needed.
This treatment is performed outpatient and takes from 30-90 minutes. You will be monitored for a short time after the procedure; you will be able to return home that day with some restrictions on driving and strenuous activities. Be sure to check with our doctors regarding any medications you are taking prior to this procedure.
During the immediate days following the Radiofrequency Ablation, you will experience some soreness in the area of your treatment. This is normal. It is caused by muscle and nerve irritation. This healing process usually takes 1-3 weeks. However, you may be able to resume everyday activities 1-2 days after your procedure. You should exercise caution: some people may need to rest for several days. Your level of pain should be your guide.
Patients at Tristate Multi-Specialty Medical Services PC usually are pain-free within 2-3 weeks of treatments. These nerves will regenerate but this does not always mean that you will again experience this pain. However, when this does happen, another ablation can be performed with successful results. It is the goal of our doctors to return you to your healthy and active lifestyle.