Radiofrequency ablation (or RFA) is a procedure used to reduce pain in your back and neck and in arthritic joints. An electrical current produced by a radio wave is used to heat up a small area of nerve tissue, decreasing pain signals from that area.
RFA can be used to help patients with chronic (long-lasting) low-back and neck pain and pain related to the degeneration of joints from arthritis.
How Long Does Pain Relief Last?
The degree of pain relief varies, depending on the cause and location of the pain. Pain relief from RFA can last from six to 12 months and in some cases, relief can last for years. More than 70% of patients treated with RFA experience pain relief.
Is it Safe?
Radiofrequency Ablation has proven to be a safe and effective way to treat some forms of pain. It also is generally well-tolerated, with very few associated complications. There is a slight risk of infection and bleeding at the insertion site. Your doctor can advise you about your particular risk.
What Are the Side Effects?
The main side effect of Radiofrequency Ablation is some discomfort, including swelling and bruising at the site of the treatment, but this generally goes away after a few days.
Radiofrequency Ablation is the most modern treatment available for treating facet joint related pain in the neck, mid back, and low back area.
Radiofrequency ablation is done under local anesthesia and generally takes about 20 minutes to one hour. For more information on treating chronic pain, contact Comprehensive Pain Management in South Kingstown, RI.