Common Questions About Radiofrequency Neurotomy
What are the side effects or risks associated with a radiofrequency ablation?
Radiofrequency ablation is a typically very safe procedure. As with any minimally invasive medical procedure, there are risks that you’ll want to discuss with your physician treatment is administered. The potential side effects or risks occur infrequently:
- Temporary pain, swelling or bruising at the injection sites
- There may be an increase of pain after the procedure but it will typically go away within seven days
- Infection can occur, although rare, especially if the procedure is not conducted in a controlled, sterile environment
Am I a good candidate for radiofrequency ablation?
A radiofrequency ablation can be a very effective way to find relief from chronic neck and/or back pain. As with most any treatment, you’ll want to discuss with your doctor whether you are a good candidate for this procedure. Make sure that your physician knows if you have any types of allergies (especially to any steroids or anesthetics), are on blood-thinning medication or have an active infection.
How long will the effects of radiofrequency ablation last?
The degree and length of pain relief will vary according to the cause and the location of the pain. There have been many patients that experience relief from six-to-12 months, while others will have relief for years. You’ll want to discuss your specific condition with your physician.
Will the procedure be painful?
The radiofrequency ablation procedure involves inserting a special needle through skin and deeper tissues to the medial nerves and there may be some pain involved. However, your doctor will numb the skin and deeper tissues with a local anesthetic before inserting the needle. Many patients also receive a mild sedative to help make the procedure less painful and less anxiety-inducing for the patient.