Radiofrequency Ablation

Premier Pain Institute

Sham Vengurlekar, MD

Interventional Pain Management located in Phoenix, AZ

You don’t have to live with degenerative joint, neck, or back pain; radiofrequency ablation can provide relief. At Premier Pain Institute, Sham Vengurlekar, MD, brings four decades of pain management experience in combination with cutting-edge treatments, like radiofrequency ablation, to men and women in Phoenix. To find relief from your chronic pain without risky medications or surgery, call Premier Pain Institute or schedule an appointment online today.

Radiofrequency Ablation Q & A

What is radiofrequency ablation?

Radiofrequency ablation, also known as radiofrequency neurotomy, is a minimally invasive pain management technique that targets the specific nerve cells causing your discomfort. During this procedure, Dr. Vengurlekar uses a special spinal probe to reach your affected nerve and deliver small and very precise amounts of heat to interrupt their pain signals.

There are two types of radiofrequency neurotomy: medial branch ablation and lateral branch ablation.

Medial branch ablation

A medial branch ablation targets nerves that carry pain signals from your facet joints. Your facet joints are the small joints that stabilize your vertebrae.

Lateral branch ablation

This type of ablation addresses nerves near your sacroiliac joints. These joints connect your sacrum to your pelvis on each side of your lower spine.

Dr. Vengurlekar might recommend radiofrequency ablation to reduce chronic neck or lower back pain as well as joint pain from arthritis or injury.

What should I expect during radiofrequency ablation treatment?

Dr. Vengurlekar usually performs radiofrequency ablation is an outpatient procedure. First, you receive a mild sedative to relax you as well as local anesthesia in the treatment site.

Using a special X-ray called fluoroscopy, Dr. Vengurlekar guides the spinal probe into the nerve causing your pain. Once in place, Dr. Vengurlekar uses an electrode in the probe to deliver tiny amounts of radiofrequency energy into the tissue. At this point in your treatment, you may feel a slight tingling. Otherwise, there’s no pain or discomfort during your procedure.

Dr. Vengurlekar continues repeating this process to treat all of the nerves causing your pain. In most cases, radiofrequency ablation takes between 30 to 90 minutes. Since you receive a mild sedative, you will need a ride home when you’re finished.

What can I expect after radiofrequency ablation?

After having radiofrequency ablation, you should avoid strenuous activity for at least 24 hours. Depending on your comfort level, you may be able to begin slowly introducing regular activities the day after your treatment. If you’re in pain, however, it’s important to rest until your discomfort subsides.

You may feel some tenderness at your radiofrequency ablation site for a few days, and it’s also common to have muscle spasms in your back for a week after treatment. But once those subside, many men and women who have radiofrequency ablation experience pain relief for six months to one year, or even longer after radiofrequency ablation.

Call Premier Pain Institute or schedule an appointment online today.

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