Radiofrequency Nerve Ablation in Rochester
What is Radiofrequency Nerve Ablation?
Radiofrequency nerve ablation, or RFA, uses heat to destroy tissue. For pain management, radio waves are sent through a precisely placed needle to heat an area of the nerve. This prevents pain signals from being sent back to your brain. The procedure is also known as rhizotomy.
When is Radiofrequency Nerve Ablation Used?
Radiofrequency ablation was first used in 1931 to treat a patient with trigeminal neuralgia and is now used to effectively treat a variety of chronic pain conditions.
RFA is considered for long-term pain conditions, especially of the neck, lower back or arthritic joints that haven’t been successfully treated with other methods.
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Muscle pain
- Multiple other pain syndromes
How is Radiofrequency Nerve Ablation Performed?
RFA is a minimally invasive procedure that does not require anesthesia. The procedure takes anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes, depending on your pain.
You will have a pre-consult evaluation to discuss your pain and course of treatment. We may discuss other options in addition to RFA.
- At the time of your RFA one of our pain management doctors will help you feel comfortable on your stomach or on your side.
- You may have an intravenous (IV) line so we can administer a sedative to relax you. The site is then cleaned and numbed.
- We may choose to use digital imaging to help guide to the proper location.
- A special radiofrequency needle will be directed alongside the target nerve. A small amount of electrical current is passed through a probe in the needle to target the nerve. Nearby healthy nerves are not damaged during the procedure.
- You will need a ride home after the procedure.
- After the procedure, you may experience soreness in the targeted area for a few days. Ice can help relief some discomfort
What are My Options for Radiofrequency Nerve Ablation?
There are two main types, including:
- Radiofrequency thermo-coagulation -produces heat by current flow
- Pulsed radiofrequency – performed in short pulses to reduce target temperature by allowing for cooling of tissues
There are benefits and uses for each type, and one our pain management professional can help you decide which would work best for you.
Benefits of Radiofrequency Nerve Ablation
You may consider RFA to help:
- Decrease your pain
- Help to inhibit the transmission of pain messages to your brain
- Promote healing
- Improve quality of life in patients with limited mobility
- Treat inflammation
- Reduce the number of pain medications taken
- Avoid or delay surgery
The effectiveness of RFA may last from three to 12 months.
Get the Relief You Deserve
Give Boev Clinic a call to discuss RFA and your options for pain relief.