This procedure is for lower back pain and upper leg pain, but not for sciatica.
Radiofrequency Ablation is for use in situations where you have arthritis, diabetes, spinal stenosis, or osteoporosis.
Typically, we may first try a Facet Joint Injection, and if that doesn’t provide long-term pain relief, then we will do a Diagnostic Block to ensure your body will respond to the subsequent treatment. A Diagnostic Block is injecting a numbing medication (such as lidocaine) into the facet joint spaces. If your body receives pain relief of 60% – 80% for one or two days, then we know the Radiofrequency Ablation is your next step.
During a Radiofrequency Ablation procedure, Dr. Omar Henriquez uses a special needle with a heated tip to deaden the medial branch nerve which was causing pain. A Medial Branch Nerve wraps through the spinal column and facet joints. This is done under X-ray using a radio frequency machine.
Pain relief from a Radiofrequency Ablation typically lasts six months to two years.
Then the nerve “wakes back up”, at which time we can do the same treatment again. The treatment only takes about 20 minutes, and it’s done completely in our Family Spine Care office, just like all of our other treatments.
This type of procedure can be used to treat chronic knee pain as well.
In this instance, after the Diagnostic Block, we would do a genicular nerve block, where we deaden the nerve causing you pain. This type of treatment would last about 6 months to a year.
It is important to note that you cannot hurt yourself after this procedure, but your body will let you know if you are “overdoing it”. You will experience less pain, yes, but other parts of your body will let you know if you are doing “too much”.
Call us so we can set up an appointment to discuss your options for chronic pain treatment. Dr Henriquez strives to provide an approach for personal and compassionate care.
Learn more about Radiofrequency Ablation
Radiofrequency Ablation– 3 Minute Video
Arthritis in the Lower Back – Blog article about treatment options
What is Spinal Stenosis – Learn more about Spinal Stenosis