Arthritis can sometimes cause debilitating pain for patients and deliver a challenge for physicians to treat successfully. Traditional injections or nerve blocks joint may provide only temporary relief. Fortunately, technology in Interventional Pain Management has advanced where physicians are now able to block the pain for a longer period of time with RFA, or Radiofrequency Ablation.
RFA is an outpatient procedure where heat is applied using radiofrequency energy directly to a small area of nerves that are causing pain. This heats up targeted areas of nerve tissue resulting in the nerves being unable to send pain signals to the brain. RFA treatment is not limited to back pain and may also be applied for neck/shoulder pain, joint pain, and headaches. Many candidates for RFA treatment have arthritis, degenerative disc disease, failed back surgery, or herniated discs.
How is the procedure done? (link to web video) RFA is a non-surgical, minimally invasive procedure. There are two phases. First is a diagnostic process where an anesthetic such as lidocaine is injected over the sensory nerves of the affected facet joints. The purpose is to temporarily block pain signals. If relief is achieved, a second appointment will be made to proceed with the RFA treatment. After a 24 hour period you will be able to resume your normal activities.
Relief will be gradually achieved over 2 to 4 weeks for optimum results. Typically, RFA treatment may last for six months and up to two or more years. Studies show that 70 to 80% of patients receiving RFA treatment achieve pain relief for an extended period of time. After that, the procedure can be repeated. Risk of RFA is extremely low and side effects are rare.
Understanding the fundamental cause of your pain is important and the experts at Bradenton Pain and Wellness Center are skilled at providing the best options and latest technology available. We take a collaborative approach with our patients in determining the most viable solutions for our patients on an individual basis. If you would like more information on this advanced technology please give us a call at 941.803.8395 for an appointment.
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