Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that can provide lasting relief from persistent pain. Board-certified physiatrist Daniel Nemeth, MD, and the team at Signe Spine & Rehab, LLC perform radiofrequency ablation as an outpatient procedure at their office in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. If you’re in the Charleston area and want to eliminate pain and get back to enjoying your normal activities, call to book an appointment today to learn more about radiofrequency ablation.
Also called radiofrequency neurotomy or rhizotomy, radiofrequency ablation is a nonsurgical procedure that uses heat to target a specific area of nerve tissue and prevent the transmission of pain signals. The radiofrequency waves ablate (burn) the pain-generating nerve, which stops it from sending pain signals to your brain.
Radiofrequency ablation can treat many types of chronic pain, including back and neck pain, knee pain, and peripheral nerve pain.
The team at Signe Spine & Rehab, LLC always explores the most conservative treatments, such as physical therapy, first. You may be a good candidate for radiofrequency ablation if you continue to experience pain despite conservative treatment.
A diagnostic joint injection helps your provider determine the specific nerve that’s causing your pain. If the joint injection relieves your pain, but only temporarily, the team at Signe Spine & Rehab, LLC may use radiofrequency ablation for lasting relief.
Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that typically occurs on an outpatient basis, which means you should be able to go home the same day. The procedure can take 30-45 minutes.
During the procedure, you lie on your stomach on the patient table. You may get a sedative in addition to a local anesthetic, but you remain awake.
Your doctor inserts a thin needle into the area where your pain originates. They may use an X-ray to guide the needle to the specific nerve while maintaining a safe distance from other nerves.
Then, they insert a microelectrode through the needle. You may briefly feel your usual painful symptoms or a tingling sensation when the electrode reaches the right location. After they confirm the target nerve, your doctor creates a heat lesion that blocks pain signals.
You should have someone else drive you home after you get radiofrequency ablation. You may experience pain for 1-2 weeks after the procedure, but should be able to go back to work in 1-2 days.
Pain relief from radiofrequency ablation can last anywhere from six months to one year. The results are immediate for some people, but can take up to 3-4 weeks for others.
To find out if radiofrequency ablation is right for you, call Signe Spine & Rehab, LLC to book an appointment today.