RFA, Radio Frequency Ablation, is sometimes used to treat severe chronic pain in the lower (lumbar) back, where radio frequency waves are used to produce heat on specifically identified nerves surrounding the facet joints on either side of the lumbar spine.
By generating heat around the nerve, the nerve gets ablated thus destroying its ability to transmit signals to the brain. The nerves to be ablated are identified through injections of local anesthesia (such as lidocaine) prior to the RFA procedure.
If the local anesthesia injections provide temporary pain relief, then RFA is performed on the nerve(s) that responded well to the injections. RFA is a minimally invasive procedure which can usually be done in day-surgery clinics, going home shortly after completion of the procedure.
The patient is awake during the procedure, so risks associated with general anesthesia are avoided. An intravenous line may be inserted so that mild sedatives can be administered. The major drawback for this procedure is that nerves regenerate over time, so the pain relief achieved lasts for only a short duration (6–24 months) in most patients.
All of Georgia Pain and Wellness Center’s board certified physicians perform Radio Frequency Ablations. Call today and see if you may be a candidate for this pain relieving procedure. (770)962-3642