What is radiofrequency ablation?

This minimally invasive treatment option is often effective as long-term treatment and relief for chronic pain. In many cases, radiofrequency ablation can prevent or prolong the need for surgery.

Those who have chronic pain as a result of an underlying condition such as arthritis, neuropathy, or spondylosis, and have not responded well to other treatment methods may be good candidates for radiofrequency ablation. Other candidates include those experiencing nerve compression due to a herniated disc or other related condition.

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How does it work?

Radiofrequency ablation burns the structure of nerves using electric currents of energy, preventing them from sending pain signals to the brain. A light sedative and local anesthetic is used to keep you comfortable throughout the procedure.

A small needle is inserted into the treatment area. After ensuring the needle is in the correct position, we will insert a small electrode through the needle from which we will send a small current of radiofrequency energy. This energy will heat the structure of the nerve tissue and disrupt pain signals from being sent to the brain.

What should I expect during recovery?

There is a brief amount of downtime following this procedure as you will need time to recover from the sedative. You will need to make arrangements for someone to drive you home from your appointment, and should take the remainder of the day off from work to rest. You should avoid strenuous activity such as exercising for at least 24 hours.

How soon should I expect to feel results?

While some patients feel relief immediately, others may not see a significant reduction in pain for a few days. This treatment option is often effective in relieving pain for anywhere from 6-12 months, though some patients may continue to feel relief for years at a time.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact us today at (301) 841-6600.