Radiofrequency ablation is an advanced technique used to alleviate pain by targeting damaged nerves. Southeastern Interventional Pain Associates offers radiofrequency ablation and other pain-relief therapies to men and women in the Atlanta, Alpharetta, and Sandy Springs areas.
What is Radiofrequency Ablation?
Radiofrequency ablation is a pain management technique that uses gentle radiofrequency energy. This is similar to spinal cord stimulation, which uses controlled energy to alleviate pain felt in the back. Pain is experienced as a result of nerve tissue sending signals to the brain and the rest of the body. Radiofrequency ablation targets these nerve tissues and eliminates them to prevent further pain from occurring. These nerves are typically irritated and damaged as a result of facet joint dysfunction, so they can be safely removed without impacting the function of the body. This technique is also referred to as facet joint denervation, because it targets the nerves around the facet joints.
What Are Facet Joints?
Facet joints are the knobbly surfaces where adjacent vertebrae are joined together. After years of use, facet joints can deteriorate, which results in nerve irritation and pain. Each vertebra in the cervical (upper), thoracic (middle), and lumbar (lower) spine has a set of facet joint surfaces on both the right and left side. Conditions like osteoarthritis can cause the cartilage around the joint to wear away. Without cartilage, bone surfaces rub against one another, resulting in friction. This friction can irritate the medial branch nerves of the facet joints, resulting in chronic pain. When this occurs, we recommend radiofrequency ablation.
How Does Radiofrequency Ablation Work?
During a radiofrequency ablation treatment, a small needle is inserted into the targeted area to deliver radiofrequency energy to the nerves. We use local anesthesia for this treatment to minimize any discomfort. The radiofrequency energy heats the targeted nerves, safely destroying them without damaging the surrounding tissue. This treatment is fairly gentle, and your activities will only be slightly limited for the first 24 hours after treatment.
Am I a Good Candidate for Radiofrequency Ablation?
We commonly perform this technique to treat many different pain symptoms that our patients have. To find out if you are a good candidate for this treatment, schedule an appointment with our office. During your initial appointment, a doctor at Southeastern Interventional Pain Associates will review your medical history and complete a thorough exam to ensure that you are a good candidate. During this time, we will review everything involved in the procedure, including what you can expect after your treatment.
If you are considering a radiofrequency ablation treatment, contact us today to learn more about the treatment or to schedule an appointment. At Southeastern Interventional Pain Associates, we offer a range of pain management treatments to help patients live normal, comfortable lives. We proudly serve men and women living in Atlanta, Sandy Springs, and Alpharetta, GA.