Radiofrequency ablation can kill pain at its source, allowing you to get back to your full, healthy and active life. This procedure uses heat from radio waves to treat painful facet joints in your lower back or neck. It eases pain that isn’t helped by medications or physical therapy.
If you are interested in or scheduled for radiofrequency ablation of the facets, please please review the videos and frequently asked questions below. Additionally, if you have questions or concerns do not hesitate to discuss them with your physician.
Radiofrequency Ablation FAQ
Radiofrequency nerve ablation are office-based minimally invasive procedures that take approximately thirty minutes to perform and are typically done under sedation. As discussed under the medial branch block and facet joint injection section radiofrequency ablation is a more permanent procedure that can last for several months. Radiofrequency ablation works by using a heated needle tip to interrupt the nerves that are causing pain, temporarily interrupting the nerve's ability to send pain signals until they regenerate.
Just like medial branch blocks and facet joint injections, radiofrequency ablation is used to treat diseases of the facet joints that produce pain in the neck, upper and lower back, and buttocks. Any joint in the body may be affected by arthritis and can therefore produce chronic pain.
This procedure is done under X-Ray guidance, radiofrequency ablation works by using a heated needle tip to interrupt the nerves that are causing pain, temporarily interrupting the nerve's ability to send pain signals until they regenerate. In addition, a potent long-lasting anti-inflammatory pain medication (steroid) is injected directly to the source of the pain decreasing inflammation, and providing pain relief for several months.
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