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Pain Management Resource Blog

What Is A Radiofrequency Neuroablation?

Posted by MAPS Education Team on Nov 25, 2014

Radiofrequency_NeuroablationWhat is a radiofrequency neuroablation?
A radiofrequency neuroablation is a minimal invasive procedure that reduces pain that orientating from the facets joints of your neck or spine.

How does a radiofrequency neuroablation work?
Heat is used to cauterize specific nerves to interfere temporarily with their ability to send pain signals to the brain. The radiofrequency neuroablation procedure is typically performed after you have demonstrated pain relief from a “test” injection such as a medial branch block.

How is a radiofrequency neuroablation performed?
An experienced pain physician will use a needle-like tube called a cannula and positions it into the irritated medial branch nerve area using x-ray or fluoroscopic guidance to ensure treatment accuracy. Once the physician has verified positioning, the radiofrequency electrode is inserted through the cannula. The physical will test the position of the cannula by sending a weak electrical jolt to the nerve. If the weak electric jolt increases the pain without any muscle effects, the electrode is positioned correctly. The physician proceeds use the electrode to cauterize the nerve and this blocks the pain signal from being sent to the brain. The procedure typically takes 60 minutes or less, and patients can leave shortly after their procedure is complete.

How long will the relief last for?
Many patients report pain relief up to one year or more.

How often can I have a radiofrequency neuroablation?
Since nerves grow back, repeating the procedure is necessary.  In many instances patients will have the procedure repeated every 12-18 months.

To learn more about radiofrequency neuroablation or to schedule an appointment to discuss treatments options, click here.

Topics: Back Pain,, Neck Pain,, Chronic Pain, Radiofrequency Neuroablation, Minimally Invasive Procedures