Radiofrequencyablation uses an electric current to heat up a small area of nerve tissue to stop it from sending pain signals. It can provide lasting relief for people with chronic pain, especially in the lower back, neck and arthritic joints.
You'll lie on your stomach on an x-ray table.
The doctor will numb an area of your skin with a localanesthetic. Then, he will:
Most patients have some pain relief after radiofrequency ablation, but the amount varies by cause of pain and location. The relief can last from six to 18 months. For some patients, the relief lasts years.
The risk of complication from radiofrequency ablation is very low. Serious complications,including infection and bleeding at the incision site, are uncommon.
Temporary side effects can include:
It is normal to feel better immediately after the procedure. This is the effect of the anesthetic. It will most likely wear off a few hours after the procedure. You may feel sore for a few days after the procedure. This is normal and is caused by mild muscle or nerve irritation. Full pain relief takes anywhere from two to four weeks. You should be able to return to work the day after the procedure.
You can continue your regular diet and medications immediately, but do not drive or do any rigorous activity for 24 hours after the procedure. Take it easy. You can return to your normal activities the next day.