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Radio Frequency Nerve Ablation


Solution for Chronic Pain

What is Radiofrequency of neurotomy?

  • Radiofrequency neurotomy is the procedure used for prolonged pain relief after successful injection trial.  By generating high electric frequency stimulations around the selected nerve, the nerves ability to transmit pain is destroyed, thus the localized pain and radicular pain can be controlled.


How is the pain you will feel during procedure?

  • Usually tolerable under skin cooling spray and cutaneous numbing medication with lidocaine. You can also request MAC sedation.


How does it treat lumbar localized pain?

  • Radiofrequency ablation is used to destroy the small nerves that supply the facet joints in the spine. These joints can be one source of localized back pain.

  • Prior to consideration of a radiofrequency of neurotomy procedure, the source of your pain needs to be determined by using diagnostic blocks on the related structures in the spine. Once the trial is successful that the facet joints are causing your back pain is confirmed, the further radiofrequency of neurotomy will be scheduled if you agree. 


Which Conditions Are Treated With Radiofrequency of neurotomy?

  • RFA has often be used to help patients with refractory spine pain, e.g. chronic (long-lasting) low-back and neck pain and pain that related to the degeneration of joints from arthritis.


How Long Does Pain Relief from Radiofrequency neurotomy Last?

  • After radiofrequency of neurotomy, the destroyed small nerves will be slowly regenerated in sprouting manner, Pain relief from RFA can last from six to 12 months and in some cases, pain relief can be lasted for years. More than 70% of patients treated with RFA experience pain relief. However you may have coexistence of other damage in the same area, if you still feel the pain is not relieved, you want to let treating doctor know and for further evaluation.


Is Radiofrequency of Neurotomy safe?

  • RFA has proven to be a safe and effective way to treat some forms of pain. It also is generally well-tolerated, with very few associated complications. There may be a slight risk of infection and bleeding at the insertion site just like injection procedures. Dr. Tang can advise you about your particular risk.


What Are the Side Effects of Radiofrequency neurotomy?

  • The main side effect of RFA is some discomfort, including swelling and bruising, at the site of the treatment, but this generally goes away after a few days.


Who Should Not Get Radiofrequency Neurotomy?

  • As with any medical procedure, RFA is not appropriate for everyone. For example, radiofrequency neurotomy is not recommended in people who have active infections or bleeding problems. Dr. Tang can tell you if you should not have RFA.


How Do I Prepare for Radiofrequency Neurotomy?

  • Do not eat within 4 hours of your appointment. You may have small amount of food 4 hours before the procedure.

  • If you have diabetes and use insulin, you must adjust the dosage of insulin the day of the procedure. Your primary care doctor will help you with this adjustment. Bring your diabetes medication with you so you can take it after the procedure.

  • Continue to take all other medications with a small sip of water. Bring all medication with you so you can take it after the procedure. Please note: Do not discontinue any medication without first consulting with your primary or referring doctor.

  • You will need to bring someone with you to drive you home after the procedure. You should not drive or operate machinery for at least 24 hours after the procedure.


What Happens During Radiofrequency of neurotomy?

  • You will meet with a doctor for an evaluation. If a radiofrequency neurotomy is recommended, a doctor will explain the procedure in detail, including possible complications and side effects.


For more information about Radiofrequency neurotomy call for an consultation.

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