During a Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) procedure, heat from an electrode is used to cauterize one or more nerves, disrupting pain signals to the brain.
To begin, after the patient has received medicine to help them relax and the area around the injection site has been numbed, the physician inserts a small tube called a cannula into the spinal area and guides it to the right nerve with the help of an X-ray device. An electrode is inserted through the cannula and its position is tested with a small jolt before the nerve is heated.
To heat the nerve, a high frequency electrical current is administered, which causes molecule movement and produces thermal energy. This, in turn, creases a small lesion within the nerve, disrupting its ability to transmit pain signals. The doctor may treat several nerves, if necessary.
Partial or total pain relief from radiofrequency can last for several months. Nerves do grow back, however, so the procedure may need to be repeated. But, unlike invasive surgeries or long-term medication usage, there are few serious side effects to the procedure, allowing you to get back to a better quality of life.
For information on Radiofrequency ablation and for a comprehensive treatment plan, contact Comprehensive Pain Management in Warwick, RI.