Radiofrequency Ablation

And Pain Management

Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive technique that can have dramatic results for the patients we treat for pain management at Spinal Diagnostics & Regenerative Medicine in Colorado Springs. Arthritis of the back can affect multiple areas. If your arthritis is primarily of the facet joints your physician may recommend “test” blocks to determine if your pain is truly arising from the facet joint.  These blocks are done with low volume local anesthetic to selectively block the sensory nerve that innervates the facet joint.  If you have undergone successful medial branch blocks (test blocks) for facet disease and have had relief, than you are a candidate for a radiofrequency ablation with Spinal Diagnostics & Regenerative Medicine.

You will have an IV started and mild sedation is given. The area is sterile prepped and a radiofrequency probe is precisely driven to the bony area of the facet joint, which contains the medial branch nerve.  We then perform motor testing by attaching the probe to a radiofrequency generator.  We should not see your arm or leg move during this test. This would indicate misplacement of the needle and proper adjustments will take place. Needle placement is also confirmed with a live X-ray machine throughout the procedure.

Local anesthetic is given through the probe and a thermal lesion the size of a q-tip occurs over ninety seconds. It should not be painful and we will be actively monitoring you throughout the procedure.

Patients will notice some soreness for the first couple of days after the procedure.  The full effects from the procedure are realized over a period of 1-3 weeks. Rarely, patients experience a neuritis, or “irritation” of the nerve that can last up to a month and seldom requires further medications. The vast majority of patients tolerate the procedure quite well. Many return to work the next day.

As with other tissue in the body, these nerves will regenerate. Patients can expect 6 months to 1 year of pain relief depending on the severity of the condition, patient age, and core muscle strength. Schedule a consultation with Spinal Diagnostics & Regenerative Medicine in Colorado Springs to see if radiofrequency ablation is the right procedure for you.

Working With The Mayo Clinic

The pain management physicians at Spinal Diagnostics & Regenerative Medicine work with the best in the business to ensure your radiofrequency ablation procedure is a success. Learn more abou the Mayo Clinic HERE.

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