What is a radiofrequency ablation and how does it help with my pain?
Radiofrequency ablation, also known as radiofrequency neurotomy, is performed to treat the chronic pain arising from the neck, back, sacroiliac, hip and knee joints.
How is radiofrequency ablation procedure performed?
The procedure involves:
- Giving a mild sedative and a local anaesthetic injection to the site
- Insertion of a radiofrequency needle with X-ray guidance
- Placement of a probe will be placed through the needle to deliver the electric current
- Using an electric current to heat up the targeted nerve and stop it from sending pain signals
How long does the effect of radiofrequency ablation last?
- The duration of pain relief differs from person to person and it depends on the condition.
- It usually can last from 6 months to 2 years, depending on how fast the pain fibres grow back.
In some cases, the effectiveness can last for many years.
Am I a good candidate for radiofrequency ablation treatment?
This treatment may be helpful for you if you have the following conditions:
- Knee arthritis
- Hip arthritis
- Lumbar spondylosis, where there is arthritis of the small joints of the back
- Sacroiliac joint arthritis
What are the possible risks?
Radiofrequency ablation is considered very safe and complications rarely happen.
Less common risks or side effects include but not limited to:
- Worsening of pain symptoms
- Discomfort or bruising at the injection site
- Weakness, numbness
What should I expect after the procedure?
You are not advisable to drive or engage in strenuous activities for a day. You may resume your normal activities on the next day and slowly increase your activity level from the 3rd day onwards.
Every condition is different, hence it is best to consult a specialist who is experienced in managing such conditions. Reach out to Dr Timothy Thor today.