Radiofrequency Neurotomy

Radiofrequency Neurotomy | Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA)

Radiofrequency ablation, or RFA, is a medical procedure that utilizes electrical currents, produced through radio waves, to heat an area of nerve tissue, reduce pain signals, and decrease the sensation of pain and discomfort in affected areas.



When is Radiofrequency Ablation Used?

Radiofrequency ablation is often considered to be an effective method to treat chronic low-back and neck pain and discomfort or pain resulting from degeneration associated with various forms of arthritis. RFA is also commonly used to treat pain and discomfort stemming from facet joint nerves, sacroiliac joint nerves and peripheral nerves.

How is Radiofrequency Ablation Administered?

Prior to the RFA procedure, the patient will receive an injection of local anaesthetic to numb and prepare the area for treatment. Similar to the procedure used for stellate ganglion block, the physician will use a fluoroscopy, or a special type of x-ray, to assist in guiding a small, hollow needle to the affected area.
 
Once the needle has been located in the proper place, the patient will be administered additional numbing medications. The physician will then pass a radiofrequency current through the needle and into the nerve, burning and destroying a small portion of the nerve that is responsible for causing the transmission of pain producing signals; this procedure takes between 1 and 2 minutes for each site, and multiple sites can be treated during the same RFA procedure.

What are the Risks Associated with Radiofrequency Ablation?

RFA is considered an extremely safe and effective procedure for reducing pain and discomfort associated with nerve conditions. Like most minor medical procedures, patients will experience slight pain, bruising, and discomfort at the incision site; this condition is temporary and typically lasts one to two days. Other temporary side effects associated with radiofrequency ablation include numbness, tingling, or weakness in the legs and lower extremities.

How Effective is Radiofrequency Ablation?

RFA has proven to be effective in disrupting pain signals sent as a result of nerve conduction. Nearly 80% of patients treated with RFA report reduction of pain and discomfort in the affected area. Typical pain relief resulting from RFA typically lasts between 9 months to a year, some patients experience pain relief that lasts for years.

Dr.Raju Mantena
Dr. Raju Mantena is an anesthesiologist and pain specialist based in the Houston area and has over 15 years of medical experience which he relies upon each day to successfully treat his patients’ acute and chronic pain.
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