Radiofrequency ablation is often used to treat back and neck pain, but it also relieves pain throughout your body that’s caused by numerous problems, such as arthritis and peripheral neuropathy. The providers at Deschutes Surgery Center, LLC, have extensive experience performing radiofrequency ablation to stop pain signals that are transmitted through your nerves. To learn whether you’re a good candidate for this pain-relieving treatment, contact the surgery center at Central Oregon Spine & Sports in Bend, Oregon.
When tissues throughout your body are injured, inflamed, or diseased, sensory nerves transmit pain signals to your brain. You don’t feel the sensation of pain until after your brain receives the messages.
One way to effectively relieve pain is to stop the nerves from communicating with your brain. That’s how radiofrequency ablation works.
Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that uses heat from radiofrequency waves to carefully wound the specific nerve in your spine relaying the message to your brain. As a result, the nerve signal is physically blocked and your pain is relieved.
Before you have radiofrequency ablation, you’ll have a diagnostic procedure to verify ablation works for you. During this procedure, your doctor at Deschutes Surgery Center injects a local anesthetic at the targeted nerve. If the anesthesia relieves your pain, then ablating the same nerve will work.
The doctors at Deschutes Surgery Center often use radiofrequency ablation to relieve chronic back, neck, leg, and arm pain. However, the procedure is effective for chronic pain that originates anywhere in your body, because all the sensory nerves in your body travel through the spinal cord.
Radiofrequency ablation can help chronic pain due to an injury or degenerative disease like arthritis. It’s also effective for abdominal and pelvic pain or pain caused by conditions such as shingles.
You’ll receive a local anesthetic and an oral sedative, if needed, to help you relax. Your diagnostic injection and the nerve ablation are both performed using fluoroscopic imaging, which is a real-time X-ray that allows your doctor to see the needle and guide it to the precise nerve.
The radiofrequency ablation device is a thin, hollow needle that’s inserted through your skin and into the spinal area, just like an injection. When the needle is in place, your doctor at Deschutes Surgery Center turns on the radiofrequency current, which leaves the tip of the needle to create a small wound on the nerve.
The biggest benefit of radiofrequency ablation is that it produces long-lasting results. Your pain relief should last for 9-24 months. The range of time is broad because no one can predict how long it may take your nerve to heal and regrow.
To obtain long-term relief from your chronic pain, contact Deschutes Surgery Center at Central Oregon Spine & Sports.