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Radiofrequency treatments for Spinal Pain

Summary

Radiofrequency treatments for Spinal Pain

Thermal radiofrequency (also known as radiofrequency ablation and radiofrequency neurotomy) are procedures that destroy the functionality of the nerve using radiofrequency energy. The physician uses x-ray guidance (fluoroscopy) to direct a special (radiofrequency) needle alongside the medial or lateral branch nerves. The targeted nerves will then be numbed to minimize pain while the lesion is being created. The radiofrequency waves are introduced to heat the tip of the needle and a heat lesion is created on the nerve to disrupt the nerve's ability to send pain signals. The procedure is performed under light sedation and normally last between 30 and 90 minutes.

Pulsed Radiofrequency is a technique used for creating a carefully controlled electrical field around an electrode. This electrode is usually built into the shape and size of a needle and is again performed under fluoroscopy. The word “pulsed” means this technique applies energy to the electrode intermittently and is generally used when other methods have failed. It is performed under light sedation and a local anaesthetic. 2 hours should be allowed for the procedure from start to finish.

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