Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a procedure used to treat chronic pain by using heat generated by radio waves to destroy nerve tissue that is transmitting pain signals. The procedure is typically done under local anesthesia and involves inserting a thin needle through the skin and into the area of the pain. An electrical current is then passed through the needle, heating the tip and destroying the nerve tissue. RFA can be used to treat pain in various parts of the body, including the back, neck, and joints. It is generally considered a safe and effective treatment option for chronic pain, with a relatively low risk of complications.
Common Conditions Treated with RFA
Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a minimally invasive procedure that uses heat generated by radio waves to treat certain types of chronic pain. Common pain conditions that can be treated with RFA include:
chronic back pain caused by facet joint arthritis or degenerative disk disease
chronic neck pain caused by facet joint arthritis or degenerative disk disease
chronic pain caused by sacroiliac joint dysfunction
chronic pain caused by degenerative disk disease
chronic pain caused by spinal stenosis
chronic pain caused by osteoarthritis
chronic pain caused by cancer that has spread to the bones
Success of RFA Treatment
Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is considered to be a safe and effective treatment option for certain types of chronic pain, particularly chronic pain caused by facet joint arthritis, degenerative disk disease, sacroiliac joint dysfunction, and spinal stenosis. Studies have shown that RFA can lead to significant reductions in pain and improvement in function for patients with these conditions. The success rate of RFA for treating chronic pain varies depending on the specific condition being treated, as well as the patient's individual response to the procedure.
In general, RFA has shown to be effective in providing pain relief for periods ranging from several months to several years, with some patients experiencing pain relief for even longer periods. Some studies have reported success rates of 60-80% for patients with chronic back pain, and up to 90% for patients with chronic neck pain. However, it's important to note that RFA may not be effective for everyone and there are certain risks associated with the procedure.
It's important to discuss with your healthcare provider about the potential benefits and risks of RFA as a treatment option for your chronic pain and to understand that it's not a definitive cure for chronic pain but a temporary relief for it.