Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that helps patients suffering from chronic neck, back, or arthritic joint pain. Stuart Hough, MD, and Ramani Peruvemba, MD, at Pain Management Specialists in Rockville and Frederick, Maryland, are fellowship-trained experts in the use of radiofrequency ablation. They have decades of experience and performed thousands of procedures. Call the office nearest you or book an appointment online to learn more about radiofrequency ablation.
Radiofrequency ablation, or rhizotomy, is a minimally invasive procedure that uses radiofrequency energy to interrupt nerves that carry pain signals from arthritic joints to your brain. It provides long-term pain relief for patients suffering from chronic neck, back, or arthritic joint pain.
The doctors at Pain Management Specialists are fellowship-trained in the use of radiofrequency ablation and have decades of experience and thousands of procedures under their belts.
Your board-certified pain management physician at Pain Management Specialists determines if you’re a candidate for radiofrequency ablation after an evaluation.
The practice primarily performs the procedure to treat pain from injured or arthritic facet joints in the spine. Radiofrequency ablation can also be used to treat pain from arthritic knees.
Before your radiofrequency ablation, your doctor first conducts a diagnostic nerve block. During this procedure, they inject medication around the nerve suspected of causing your pain.
The medication then blocks the pain signal to alleviate symptoms. If you experience pain relief following a nerve block, then your doctor may recommend radiofrequency ablation.
Your Pain Management Specialists doctor performs radiofrequency ablation in an outpatient surgery center under local anesthesia. The procedure typically takes twenty to forty minutes.
During your radiofrequency ablation, you will lie on an X-ray table. Then, a local anesthetic is administered into the area of your spine undergoing the procedure.
You may also be given a mild sedative to help you relax, but you stay awake during the radiofrequency ablation.
Your doctor inserts a hollow needle near your spine using X-ray guided imaging. After testing to confirm that the needle is positioned next to the nerve carrying pain signals, your pain doctor injects a numbing agent, then activates the radiofrequency current to heat the nerve to a precise temperature to interrupt, but not kill the nerve. This is analogous to pruning a bush in that the branches are trimmed, but the plant does not die. Each ablation takes about 90 seconds but your doctor may need to treat several nerves to achieve the desired effect.
After your radiofrequency ablation, you may need to spend time in the recovery room before going home. You must arrange to have someone drive you home after the procedure.
Results following radiofrequency ablation vary. Many patients start to experience relief from their pain about 10 days after the procedure, but relief could take up to a month, and can last from six months to two years. Pain Management Specialists can repeat your radiofrequency ablation procedure when needed.
To learn more about radiofrequency ablation and how it may alleviate your chronic neck or back pain, call Pain Management Specialists or book an appointment online today.