Radiofrequency ablation

In this procedure heat is being used to destroy the tissues. For managing the pain, radio waves are sent via exactly inserted needle for heating an area of the nerve. This hampers pain signals from going into the brain. RFA is opted for in the condition of enduring pain untreatable with other procedures and treatment options.

Why is Radio Frequency Ablation(RFA) done?

The main target of RFA is to:

  • Stop or lessen the pain
  • Enhance the function
  • Decrease the medication regime
  • Elude or putting off surgery

What conditions can be treated with Radiofrequency Ablation?

Radiofrequency ablation is apt for

  • Acute pain because of arthritis of the spine(spondylosis) and sacroiliac(SI) joint pain
  • Neck, back and knee pain
  • Cancer pain
  • Trigeminal neuralgia/ post herpetic neuralgia related pain
  • Peripheral nerve pain.
  • Heart rhythm problems.
  • Tumors (to kill cells).


How does Radio Frequency Ablation work?

In this process radio waves are used to produce heat to target diseased tissues. When the diseased tissue is damaged by the radiofrequency waves it hampers the pain signals from reaching the brain hence resulting in pain relief.

At the time of the process, a tiny empty needle is placed near the targeted pain causing nerve. An electrode is fixed at the top of the needle, which sends the radiowaves through the needle to the targeted nerve. This results in abrasion that stops the nerves from sending the pain signals to the brain. Adjacent nerves are secured from getting damaged during the process.

Pain management within your spine

Radiofrequency ablation is usually used to control pain related to joints as the knee and often related to pain from the spine ( lumbar area of the spine)

Inside the spine, nerves diverge from the spinal cord and goes to the facet joints and sacroiliac joints.

Small joints between the vertebrae in the spine are called facet joints. These joints provide the spine with flexibility and allow movement such as twisting and bending. Connected to the facet joints are two tiny nerves called medial branch nerves that sends the pain signals to the brain from these joints.

The use of radiofrequency ablation to the aimed medial branch nerve in these joints lessens the pain signals from reaching the brain.

Who is a candidate for radiofrequency ablation (RFA)?

RFA may be the right choice if:

If someone has got relief from pain after administering a pain block injection,this indicates to the health care profesional that, that specific nerve is the cause of the pain and is suitable for RFA.
If acute pain doesnot decrease by other medicactions such as pain killer and physiotherapy.

But in cases one may not be a right candidate for RAF as

  • If a lady is pregnant
  • Suffering from infection
  • Have a bleeding problem

Is RadioFrequency Ablation considered as surgery?

No, it is not suppose to be a surgery. Instead it is considered as minimally invasive procedure. It means that the procedure utilizez such methods that cures you with the least amount of damage or disturbance to the skin and tissues.

In general minimally invasive procedures are suppose to lower the risk of infection and other complexities, lessen the duration of hospital stay, decrease the amount of pain, and shorten the recuperation time.