Radiofrequency Ablation overview

Radiofrequency ablation is a pain management technique that utilizes heat to disable nerves from transmitting pain signals. For this procedure a needle-like tube or cannula is inserted under the guidance of an X-ray (fluoroscopy) along the nerves. A Radiofrequency electrode is inserted through the cannula and a small electrical current is emitted which should recreate the patient’s usual pain. This ensures that the needle is next to the appropriate nerve. A numbing medication is administered before more radiofrequency waves are emitted through the to tip of the needle where the waves are converted into heat. The heat slowly disrupts the nerves ability to transmit pain signals. There is no risk of paralysis or weakness from this procedure.

What conditions does Radiofrequency Ablation treat?

Typical benefits/outcomes of Radiofrequency Ablation

Nearly 70 percent of Radiofrequency ablations performed result in good block of the intended nerve.

  • Reduction or relief of pain
  • Improved range of motion
  • Short recovery time
  • Reduction in pain medication
  • Longer lasting pain relief in comparison to steroid injections