Radiofrequency Ablation

What is Radiofrequency Ablation technique? How it is used for chronic pain removal

2 years ago

Radiofrequency ablation technique also called Rhizotomy is an advanced technology in today’s world for pain removal. Nerve fibers carrying pain send signals to the brain but through Radiofrequency ablation, these signals can be destroyed.

What is Radiofrequency Ablation?

Radiofrequency ablation is a non surgical, minimally invasive procedure that uses radiofrequency waves or heat to reduce or to stop the transmission or transport of pain. The word ablation means ‘to cut off’, thus the radiofrequency ablation means through radiofrequency waves cut off the transmission of signal causing pain. The person having chronic back pain, lower pain, and joint arthritis, spine (spondylosis), and sacroiliitis can get good relief by Radiofrequency ablation.

Procedure of Radiofrequency Ablation

In Radiofrequency ablation, a patient is given mild sedation to make him relax. Then, he’ll lie on stomach or back on an x-ray table. After that, doctor will numb the area of skin where radiofrequency waves will be given. After it, doctor inserts a thin needle into the area where the patient feels pain. He will insert a microelectrode through the needle asking the patient if he feels a tingling sensation. Then he will send a small radiofrequency current through the electrode to heat the nerve tissue causing pain. This treatment may take 60 to 90 minutes.  The patient can go home the same or another day after the treatment.

Radiofrequency Ablation
Image Source: Google

Effectiveness of Radiofrequency Ablation technique

The effectiveness or pain relief from Radiofrequency ablation lasts six to twelve months. The nerve eventually regenerates or joint pain may reoccur. The results are different for different individuals.

Precautions after RFA treatment

1. The injection site may get swell up due to the insertion of a needle. Apply an ice pack for reducing the pain and swelling to the affected area. Avoid heat packs on the injected site.

2. Usually, pain relief after RFA is felt 1 to 3 weeks after injection. It is recommended that the patient should rest for several days before returning to normal activities.

Risks and Prevention

The following side effects can be felt immediately after radiofrequency ablation: burning and/or hypersensitivity over the injection site Numbness and/or tingling over the injection site. Sometimes these symptoms feel like sunburn in the treated region.

The risks associated with RFA are very rare. Some of the risks that may get are 

An excessive, abnormal sensitivity over the skin of the injection site.

Superficial skin infections over the injection site

May cause damage to surrounding blood vessels and nerves during needle insertion.

Damage may b cause to nerve adjacent to a targeted one

Allergic reaction to the anesthesia used to numb the skin.

Disclaimer: It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your health care provider.

Dr. Amit Saini -orthopedician in hisar

Seema Jain

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