At the Spine Center of Southeast Georgia, we are proud to offer radiofrequency nerve ablation to men and women in Brunswick and Kingsland struggling with severe or recurrent back, back, and joint pain.
What is Radiofrequency Ablation?
Also known as rhizotomy, radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive, nonsurgical procedure using heat to stop or reduce the transmission of pain. The radiofrequency waves burn or “ablate” the painful nerve. This temporarily stops pain signals from being transmitted to the brain.
Most commonly used to treat conditions such as sacroiliitis and arthritis of the spine, radiofrequency ablation can also treat pelvic, back, knee, neck, and peripheral nerve pain. There are many benefits to undergoing the radiofrequency ablation procedure, such as:
- Immediate relief from nerve-related pain
- A reduced dependence on pain medication
- Delays surgery and may negate the need completely
- Little to no recovery time
- Improved function
- Faster return to work and other activities
What Does Radiofrequency Ablation Treat?
Radiofrequency ablation destroys the nerve fibers that carry pain signals to the brain. It treats patients suffering from conditions such as sacroiliitis, spondylosis, and nerve-related back, knee, neck, and pelvic pain.
RF ablation in Brunswick works best for people who have had successful diagnostic nerve or pain receptor block injections. If you experienced good relief with a nerve block injection, and you are suffering with recurrent pain, you may be a good candidate for radiofrequency ablation.
How is the Radiofrequency Ablation Procedure Performed?
You will be asked to lie on a table while your physician applies a local anesthetic to numb the treatment area. In order to provide the physician with feedback and guide the RF needle, you will remain awake and aware at all times—but the procedure itself isn’t painful. A low-dose sedative will usually be the only medication provided for this procedure.
With the aid of a special real-time X-ray called a fluoroscope, your physician inserts a thin, hollow needle into the target area. Thanks to the fluoroscope, your physician is able to watch the needle in real time to ensure it goes precisely to its intended location. You will feel some discomfort during this time; however it is typically more of a feeling of pressure than pain.
Once the needle is in position, a numbing medication will be applied before a radiofrequency current is delivered through the needle to create a small, precise lesion around the size of a cotton swab. The portion of the nerve that’s transmitting the pain is destroyed by the current. This disrupts the pain-producing signal. The burn will take around 90 seconds for each site, and more than just the one nerve can be burned at any one time.
How Long Does Radiofrequency Ablation Last?
Pain relief can last from nine months to as long as two years, as it’s possible that the nerve can regrow back through the burned lesion that the radiofrequency ablation created. If the nerve is to regrow, it will usually be somewhere around six to 12 months after the procedure. Even so, radiofrequency ablation has a success rate of 70 to 80% for those who have successful nerve blocks. If the nerve does regrow and the pain returns, the procedure can be repeated to extend your results.
Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a revolutionary pain treatment that can reduce nerve pain without invasive surgery. If you are dealing with back, neck, or joint pain, schedule your consultation with the radiofrequency ablation doctors at the Spine Center of Southeast Georgia today to learn more. We welcome men and women in Kingsland, Brunswick, and the surrounding Georgia communities.