Radiofrequency ablation can pinpoint spinal nerves that have been found to cause chronic pain. A thin needle is placed in the center of the nerve, guided by ultrasound or a CT scanner. Radiofrequency waves are used to vibrate or heat the nerve, killing only the part of the tissue causing pain, while leaving the rest of the spinal nerve untouched.
Radiofrequency ablation is performed under either general anesthesia or conscious sedation. For conscious sedation, the patient receives pain medicine and sedation through an IV. Routine monitoring is conducted to ensure patient safety during the procedure. Most patients feel little or no pain during the procedure.
Radiofrequency Ablation Resources
Patients scheduled for a radiofrequency ablation procedure can find additional resources about the exam, including other photos and videos.
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