Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) is a minimally invasive alternative to surgery in the treatment of chronic pain in the lower back and sacroiliac joint (SI), and the neck. It is effective in treating pain in these areas, including pain caused by degeneration of the joints from arthritis.
Going into your appointment prepared is important and the following will provide you with helpful information so you know what to expect with a radiofrequency ablation.
Before going in for radiofrequency ablation you will undergo a thorough evaluation to determine that you are in fact a good candidate for this type of treatment. Like with all medical treatments, RFA is not recommended for everyone, such as those with an active infection or bleeding.
On the day of the procedure, you will be given local anesthesia and sedative, likely through IV which will allow you to be awake but in a very relaxed state and keep you from feeling any pain during treatment. An X-ray-guided needle will be inserted and guided to the area where you have been experiencing pain.
Once in place a tiny electrode will be inserted through the needle for the stimulation process. Your Las Vegas Pain Management Doctor will ask you whether or not you feel a tingling sensation which helps determine if the electrode is in the right place for the best treatment. Once confirmed, a light radiofrequency current will be sent through the electrode. What this does is heat the affected nerve tissue which is the process that interrupting the pain signals and lessening or eliminating your pain.
After the Procedure
After RFA treatment you will be sent to a recovery room for routine observation. A bandage is placed over the injection site and you will be ready to go home within an hour or so. You will need someone else to drive you as the sedative will leave you feeling somewhat drowsy and you should avoid driving or the operation of any type of machinery for 24 hours following treatment.
It is also advisable to avoid any strenuous activities during the 24 hour period after treatment. You may go back to your regular diet right away as there are no restrictions on what you eat.
Reported side effects from RFA are leg numbness, which is the result of the local anesthesia, and some mild discomfort in the back that wears off within a few hours. Some mild swelling and bruising at the site of treatment is also to be expected. At times, patients may experience increased pain for a few weeks after the procedure due to muscle spasms, this usually subsides nicely.
The majority of RFA patients experience relief from their pain. Your results depend on various factors such as the location and cause of your pain and pain relief from RFA can last from 6 to 18 months in over 75% of patients.
The top Pain Management Doctors in Las Vegas are with Nevada Pain. The pain doctors are Board Certified, Award Winning and offer both medical and interventional pain management. If you or a loved one is experiencing chronic back or neck pain, let Nevada Pain help you obtain extended pain relief.
Call (702) 323-0553 for more information and scheduling today!