Radiofrequency ablation involves placing probes beneath the skin that apply heat to nerves. The heat destroys the nerves, which means they are no longer able to transmit pain signals to your brain. Specialists at the Pain Management Center at Cooper may use radiofrequency ablation when injections or nerve blocks do not offer pain relief.
Because we offer a full array of pain management services, radiofrequency ablation may be just one part of your overall treatment plan. Other approaches such as physical therapy, counseling, acupuncture, and massage therapy may also improve your symptoms.
Radiofrequency Ablation: Our Approach
Radiofrequency ablation can provide longer lasting relief than injections or nerve blocks. After a thorough evaluation, our pain management specialists can determine whether this procedure is an option for you.
With radiofrequency ablation, we can help relieve the following:
- Chest wall and rib cage pain
- Knee pain from arthritis or total knee replacement
- Lower back pain
- Mid-back pain
- Neck pain
What to Expect During Radiofrequency Ablation
Radiofrequency ablation is an outpatient procedure that usually takes about an hour. Our specialists perform radiofrequency ablation while you are lying or sitting in a comfortable position. During the procedure, our doctors:
- Clean the skin with an antiseptic to avoid infection
- Apply local anesthesia to the skin
- Give you the option of moderate intravenous sedation
- Use X-ray fluoroscopy to guide the precise placement of the probes, if necessary
- Perform a sensory and motor test to confirm that the probes are in the correct location
- Use a special machine to generate heat
- Apply this heat through the probes for about 90 seconds to destroy the targeted nerves
The risks of radiofrequency ablation are small but include infection, bleeding, worsening of pain, and nerve damage. Our specialists minimize these risks by performing a comprehensive medical evaluation prior to the procedure.
To learn more about the Pain Management Center at Cooper or to schedule an appointment, please call 856.963.6770.