Radiofrequency Ablation Radiofrequency Ablation
Now covered by Medicare and Insurance
What is Radiofrequency Ablation?
Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) is a minimally invasive, FDA approved procedure that has shown to provide pain relief for patients with back/neck pain when standard methods e.g. steroid, epidural, or other injections treatments have failed. RFA is NOT a permanent solution for pain. Typically, if effective, temporary pain relief can last from 6 months up to 2 years. Some studies have reported patients achieving pain control for up to 3 years
Watch how Radiofrequency Ablation is done
How does RFA work?
What Conditions Does It Treat?
RFA can be an effective treatment for:
- Cervical (neck) pain
- Lumbar (low back) pain
- Osteoarthritis (cervical, thoracic, lumbar)
- Facet joint pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar)
- Peripheral Nerve Pain
- Chronic Degenerative Conditions
Who is a candidate for Radiofrequency Ablation?
Note: A Diagnostic Nerve Block Test must be performed prior to Radiofrequency Ablation.
Diagnostic Nerve Block
Injected with local anesthetic
Radiofrequency Ablation Deadened using heat
Diagnostic Nerve Block/Radiofrequency Ablation Procedure
At Stemedix, the Diagnostic Nerve Block and Radiofrequency Ablation procedures are performed by a board-certified anesthesiologist who has further specialized in Interventional Pain Management
Before the Procedure
You will be asked to:
• Complete a Medical History Form
• Submit copies of all the imaging studies related to your source of pain
• Submit a current list of ALL medications/supplements that you are taking
• Stop taking any blood thinning medications several days before the procedure
The procedure will take place in our office. You will be positioned on an x-ray table. A local anesthetic will be used to numb the treatment area. You will remain awake during the procedure in order to provide feedback to the physician. A mild sedative may be given, if needed.
The procedures are performed by the physician using a fluoroscope. The fluoroscope allows the physician to see the precise location of the thin hollow needle that has been inserted into the targeted treatment area. Once it is in the right place, the nerve and surrounding area are either injected with local anesthetic or deadened using heat. The procedure takes anywhere from 15-45 minutes, or longer, depending on the number of treatment sites.
After the Procedure
|Up and around and back to work||24-72 hrs|
|Residual pain from the procedure||Up to 14 days|
|Pain Relief||Within 10 days or up to 3 weeks|
Radiofrequency Ablation is a safe procedure that carries with it minimal risk for complication.
Complications that have been seen are:
• Temporary increase in nerve pain
• Inflammation of the nerve
• “Pinched” nerve
• Localized numbness
• Reaction to the medication used during the procedure