Comprehensive Pain Management
(Formally known as Franklin Pain and Wellness and Warwick Pain)
Franklin, MA • (508) 507-8818
Warwick, RI • (401) 352-0007
South Kingstown, RI • (401) 234-9677
“Chronic arthritis joint pain”
Also known as: radiofrequency neurotomy, radiofrequency rhizotomy, radiofrequency lesioning, medial branch neurotomy, or radiofrequency denervation.
Radiofrequency Ablation is the most modern treatment available for treating facet joint related pain in the neck, mid back, and low back area. Common causes of this pain are arthritis and injury. The procedure involves electromagnetic waves, a form of heat energy created by a special generator. The heat energy is delivered precisely to the area of nerve endings that are causing the person’s pain. The theory behind a Radiofrequency Ablation is that as one generates heat around the nerve endings, their ability to transmit pain signals to the brain is eliminated. The tiny nerve endings that are being heated are only sensory in nature and have no motor function. The amount of heat applied and the duration of this application depends on which part of the spine is being treated. Approximately 70 percent of patients will get a good block of the intended nerve.
Radiofrequency ablation is done under local anesthesia and generally takes about 20 minutes to one hour. Initially there will be muscle soreness for up to one week afterward. Ice packs will usually control this discomfort. After the initial week of soreness, patients’ pain will be gone or significantly minimized.
Studies show that the average pain relief for Radiofrequency Ablation is about 15 months and can last up to two years. These results last much longer than steroid injections. Radiofrequency Ablation can provide patients with greater range of motion, lower the need for pain medication and the procedure itself has a very short recovery time.