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What is a Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) and how will it help alleviate your pain?

What is a Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) and how will it help alleviate your pain?

When tissues throught your body are injured, inflamed, or diseased, our sensory nerves transmit pain signals to your brain. You do not feel the sensation of pain until after your brain receives the messages. One way to effectively relieve this pain is to stop the nerves from communicating with your brain. Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) has emerged as a breakthrough medical procedure that is revolutionizing the treatment of nerve pain. This minimally invasive therapy utilizes radio waves to target and eliminate abnormal tissue without the need for surgery.

What exactly is a Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA)?

Radiofrequency ablation represents a monumental leap in medical science, revolutionizing the treatment landscaped by providing a safer, less invasive efficacy and minimal side effects, Radiofrequency Ablations are transforming the lives of patients worldwide. Embracing this groundbreaking therapy opens up a new realm of possibilities in healthcare, promising enhanced outcomes and a brighter future for those in need of innovative treatments. 

Radiofrequency Ablation involves the utilization of high-frequency electrical currents that generate heat. A thin needle electrode is carefully inserted into the targeted area guided by fluoroscopic imaging. The electrode emits radio waves, producing heat that effectively modifies the targeted nerve. A few conditions that an RFA is commonly used on are the treatment of chronic pain and arthritis. One of the greatest advantages of an RFA is its minimally invasive nature. This means reduced pain, shorter recovery time, and fewer complications compaired to traditional surgical interventions. Additionally, an RFA can be performed on a outpatient basis, allowing patients to return to their daily activities sooner.

How do you know an RFA will work for you?

Before you have a radiofrequency ablation, you will have a diagnostic procedure called a Medial Branch Block to verify the ablation will work for your condition. Typically, insurance companies require 2 of these test injections before completing the ablation. During this procedure, the doctor injects a local anesthetic at the targeted nerve. If the anesthetic medication relieves your pain, then ablating the same nerves will work to reduce the pain. Patients can excpect up to 6 to 12 months worth of relief  before needing to repeat the ablation. Once we have proven with your first RFA that this treatment gives you at least 80% relief, you will not need to repeat the test procedures unless a new nerve has been added or the patients insurance policy has changed.


Please visit our website at or follow the link on the QR Code to watch an animated video about the Radiofrequency Ablation and other services we offer.

RFA video can be found under Head, Neck and Spine and is labeled as Radiofrequency Neurotomy of the Lumbar Facets.

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