If you live with chronic back, neck, or joint pain, radiofrequency ablation may provide long-lasting relief. Experienced physiatrist Justin Waltrous, MD, offers radiofrequency ablation treatments for pain management at Maryland Sports, Spine and Musculoskeletal Institute in Pasadena, Maryland. To find out if radiofrequency ablation should be part of your long-term pain relief plan, call the office or schedule an appointment online today.
Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a minimally invasive, nonsurgical procedure that uses radiofrequency energy to disrupt the transmission of pain signals from nerve tissue. The radiofrequency energy heats up targeted areas of nerve tissue and prevents them from sending pain signals.
As a fellowship-trained interventional pain management specialist, Dr. Waltrous offers radiofrequency ablation for lasting relief of chronic pain, especially in the lower back, neck, and arthritic joints.
He may recommend RFA as part of your individualized treatment plan if you have one or more of the following health problems:
RFA may provide longer-term pain relief than nerve blocks, lasting six to 12 months in many cases. This treatment may be right for you if other therapies, such as pain medications, don’t provide adequate relief.
First, Dr. Waltrous carefully reviews your medical history and performs a physical exam to make sure you’re a good candidate for radiofrequency ablation. He may perform a diagnostic nerve block to identify the nerves responsible for your pain.
During RFA treatment, you lie on an X-ray table. Dr. Waltrous gives you intravenous (IV) medication to help you relax and numbs the injection area with a local anesthetic. Next, he inserts a fine needle into the region of your body that causes pain. He may use a special X-ray called a fluoroscope to pinpoint the precise area for treatment.
Then, Dr. Waltrous inserts a microelectrode through the needle. The electrode delivers a controlled radiofrequency current that heats your nerve tissue, disabling its ability to transmit pain signals. RFA generally takes less than an hour and you should be able to go home the same day. You should arrange to have someone else drive you as the IV medication will make you sleepy.
Most patients find RFA extremely effective at providing long-term pain relief. It’s common to experience relief for six to 12 months, but the effects of RFA can last for years in some patients.
To learn more about radiofrequency ablation, call Maryland Sports, Spine and Musculoskeletal Institute or schedule an appointment online today.