If you suffer from chronic pain that doesn’t improve with conservative treatment, it’s time to consider radiofrequency ablation. The experienced team at Interventional Spine and Pain Center in Manchester and Murfreesboro, Tennessee, performs this nonsurgical, minimally invasive procedure, helping their patients experience long-lasting pain relief and improved function, and giving them the ability to enjoy life again. To learn if you’re a good candidate for radiofrequency ablation, call one of the offices or schedule an appointment online.
Radiofrequency ablation is a procedure that uses controlled heat from radio waves to create a wound on one or more nerves. The wound blocks pain signals traveling through the nerve. As a result, the signals don’t reach your brain and your pain is significantly diminished. Most patients experience a 70%-80% reduction in their pain.
Your results can last nine months to more than two years. However, the length of your pain relief depends on how rapidly the nerve heals and regenerates. For some patients, the results may only last 6-12 months, then they need the procedure repeated to maintain ongoing pain relief.
Radiofrequency ablation targets nerves in the spine, which means it can treat all the peripheral nerves sending pain signals to your brain. Your doctor at Interventional Spine and Pain Center may recommend radiofrequency ablation to treat:
Radiofrequency ablation also relieves chronic pain for conditions such as chest wall pain, pain due to post-surgical scarring, and cancer pain.
Before you get radiofrequency ablation, your doctor at Interventional Spine and Pain Center performs a diagnostic procedure to determine if you’re a good candidate. After identifying the potential nerve, your doctor injects a local anesthetic at the targeted nerve. If the anesthetic relieves your pain, then you can undergo radiofrequency ablation.
During the procedure, you lie on an X-ray table because fluoroscopic imaging is used to view the needle and spinal structures and to ensure the exact nerve is treated. You’re given a local anesthetic and a low-dose sedative to help you relax, but you’re still awake throughout the procedure.
Your doctor at Interventional Spine and Pain Center guides a thin, hollow needle to the nerve, then radiofrequency waves are passed through the needle to make a small and precise burn on the nerve. Several nerves may be treated at the same time, with the radiofrequency ablation lasting about 90 seconds per nerve.
You’re able to walk around right after your procedure and most patients are back to work within 24-72 hours. Some patients have immediate pain relief, but it can take up to three weeks to experience the full effect.
To learn if you’re a good candidate for radiofrequency ablation, call Interventional Spine and Pain Center or schedule an appointment online.