uses electrical impulses to interrupt nerve conduction
Back Pain patients who have not responded to common pain management interventions such as medications and physical therapy may be candidates for radiofrequency lesioning. Radiofrequency lesioning (RFL) is a procedure that uses electrical impulses to interrupt nerve conduction. RFL is most commonly used on the facet joint nerves, sacroiliac joint nerves and peripheral nerves. An advantage of RFL is that it allows for the interruption of pain signals for an extended period of time. Generally, a patient can expect pain relief for 6 to 9 months.
RFL is an outpatient procedure that takes approximately 30 minutes
Radiofrequency lesioning is done under fluoroscopic (X-Ray) guidance to assist in precise needle placement to stimulate the tissue at the site of pain by a small radiofrequency current. This current generates heat and blocks the pain pathways. Local anesthetic is used to numb the area before the procedure begins. RFL is an outpatient procedure that takes approximately 30 minutes with return to home after a recovery period of up to one hour.
Approximately 80-90% of patients get significant relief from chronic back and neck arthritis pain with radiofrequency lesioning. Although the pain relief lasts longer than many other procedures, it is not permanent. Sensory nerves regenerate over time, causing pain symptoms to reappear. There are some risks associated with radiofrequency lesioning including pain and numbness at the site, and very rarely bleeding, infection or weakness in an extremity. . A more severe, but rare complication is nerve damage, which can lead to a persistent burning sensation and a feeling of numbness or weakness.
Radiofrequency ablation of the nerves to the facet joints of the neck and back provide significant pain relief lasting 6-9 months on average but may last as long as a year. RFL procedures do not use steroids and can be repeated indefinitely without known harm other than the rare risks described above.
non-Surgical Treatments for Back Pain
Short Term: Medications, Trigger Point Injections, Steroid injections
Prescription Back Braces
Radio Frequency Ablation
Spinal Column and Peripheral Nerve Stimulator
Kyphoplasty and Sacroplasty for compression fractures
This information is for educational purposes only and is NOT intended to replace the care or advice given by your physician. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider before starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. For more information see our Medical Disclaimer.