Dr. Kaixuan Liu with Atlantic Spine Center explains differences, similarities...
Radiofrequency nerve ablation (also known as radiofrequency lesioning, or neurotomy) is an emerging therapy in pain medicine that uses a specialized device to disrupt nerve conduction on a semi-permanent basis.
With radiofrequency treatment, the nerves are usually blocked for 6-9 months, but relief can be as short as 3 months or as long at 18 months for some patients. This nerve ablation pain relief technique can be used successfully for those with back pain, neck pain, muscle pain, or other discomforts. A probe is inserted through a needle and controlled delivery of heat is placed along a painful nerve. Radiofrequency uses heat to disrupt the nerves conductivity.
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Nerve ablation of facet joints is performed in an operative setting using mild sedation and local anesthetics. Fluoroscopic x-ray guidance allows the physician to accurately position the radiofrequency ablation probe adjacent to the medial branch nerves to be treated. The nerve is then heated to 80 degrees C using a radiofrequency generator. Radiofrequency ablation treatment is a safe and well-tolerated method selected to treat chronic pain caused by a variety of conditions. If your pain responds well to an initial treatment, a follow-up treatment may be helpful.
Conditions commonly treated with radiofrequency nerve ablation include the following:
Before surgical spine treatment is considered, we will exhaust conservative, non-surgical spine treatment options first. Our advanced diagnostic and pain mapping techniques enable us to ensure precise diagnosis, which is one of the most important factors towards effective treatment of your pain.