Radio Frequency Ablation

A radio frequency ablation (RFA) is a minimally invasive procedure that uses heat to minimize and stop pain signals from moving through the body. Nerve endings that cause pain are “burned” so the pain signals are not sent to the brain.

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What is

Radio Frequency Ablation

Radio frequency ablations (RFA’s) are a commonly used, minimally invasive procedure used to treat chronic pain. An RFA is an injection that uses radio-frequency energy to disrupt the ability of specific nerves that send pain signals to the brain. Radio frequency energy is a type of controlled heat that targets specific nerves in order to manage and minimize chronic pain.  

The use of thermal heat is the most commonly applied route for an RFA. The physician inserts a needle in the spinal region, and then a mild electric current is sent through the needle. 

A radio frequency ablation is usually performed by a physician who specializes in pain management. If a patient’s pain has not improved with conservative treatments like medications or physical therapy, an RFA can be an ideal option.

Some conditions require patients to pursue consistent pain management care such as: 

  • Arthritis
  • Degeneration of joints
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)
  • Pain from failed spine surgery

If a patient is experiencing the following symptoms, they may be a candidate for an RFA procedure: 

  • Pain while bending or twisting
  • Pain that radiates down through the thighs
  • Pain on one or both sides of the lower back
  • Pain relief only when they’re lying down

What Happens During An RFA 

Used to treat chronic back pain, an RFA targets specific nerves with electrical current. The procedure can be performed on an outpatient basis with a local anesthetic.  

The physician will use guided fluoroscopy to insert a small needle into the general area the patient is experiencing pain. The fluoroscopy assists the physician in determining the precise nerves that need to be “burned” in order to begin relief to the patient.  

An radio frequency ablation usually produces long term relief for many patients, lasting months to even years.


What Happens After An RFA

After the physician has completed the procedure, the patient will be monitored for a short amount of time. Most patients are able to walk around comfortably after a radio frequency ablation. Patients are still required to be driven home by a driver. Pain relief is typically experienced within 10 days of an radio frequency ablation (if not sooner). Patients are encouraged to limit their activity for a few days after their procedure. A patient may experience slight bruising or soreness, but this is normal.  

The radio frequency ablation usually provides successful results for many patients, but the duration may differ.  Some patients experience modest relief for a few months. Other patients experience relief from their pain for several months to years. Each individual may respond to the injection differently producing different results. But for the chronic pain patient, even modest relief is a welcomed reprieve.


How To Get Started

If you would like more information about radio frequency ablation injections, please call Pain and Spine Specialists and speak to our dedicated team to improve the quality of your life. You can call (301) 703-8767 (Maryland Locations), (724) 603-3560 (Pennsylvania Locations), or (540) 433-1905 (Virginia Locations) and schedule an appointment today. 

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Phone Numbers

Phone Numbers

Md

(301) 703-8767

Pa

(724) 603-3560

Va

(540) 433-1905

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The skilled and professional doctors at Pain and Spine Specialists are able to determine if you are a good candidate for a radio frequency ablation. The innovative doctors at PASS are able to provide you highly effective injections like a Radio Frequency Ablation and other progressive pain management treatments. Pain and Spine Specialists is able to efficiently manage your chronic back pain with injection therapies like radio frequency ablations.  

I Love the way they all listen to you no matter what it's about. I Love how they make sure your feeling fine & how they find other ways to help you. They are a wonderful team & I am so glad I found them.

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I LOVE this place. Dr B. and Dr Rao saved my life. In 2014, I could only walk about 15ft and had to use a wheelchair. It happened so quickly to me. I had extreme pain in my back, and legs. My other pain management wouldn't help at all.

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