Explore alternatives to living with back pain.
More than one-third of American adults have low back pain that affects activities of daily living and exercise1. Stryker radiofrequency ablation can provide long-lasting relief by treating the source of facet joint pain with high-frequency electrical current. Schedule your Consult Now!
Understanding facet joint pain.
Facet joint pain occurs when the facet joints, which are located on the back of the spine, become inflamed or damaged. These joints can be a common source of back and neck pain. As discs thin with aging, the space between the vertebrae shrinks, causing the erosion of facet joint cartilage and resulting in pain.
What is Radiofrequency Ablation?
Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) is a minimally invasive procedure that provides lasting relief to those suffering from lumbar, cervical, or thoracic facet joint pain. It involves applying heat to certain nerve pathways to “shut off” the transmission of pain signals to the brain. RFA is performed on an outpatient basis and has a high success rate and low complication rate.
The benefits of the RFA procedure include longer-lasting pain relief compared to steroid injections, low complications, greater range of motion, lower use of analgesics, and improved quality of life. Its short recovery time allows patients to return to their normal activities quickly.
Who is a candidate for Radiofrequency Ablation?
Potential candidates for the radiofrequency ablation (RFA) procedure are individuals who experience chronic pain in the lumbar, cervical, or thoracic facet joints who have not found sufficient relief from other conservative treatments such as medication or physical therapy.
What You Can Expect with Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA)
During the RFA procedure, a needle is guided to the treatment area using X-ray imaging. Radiofrequency current is then used to heat the surrounding nerves, creating lesions that help alleviate facet joint pain.
After the procedure, patients may experience soreness or pain in the treated area, but most are able to return to work and normal activities within a few days. Pain relief is typically experienced 1-3 weeks after RFA, although the nerves can repair themselves over time, and the pain may return.
Treatment with the RFA procedure may directly or indirectly cause side effects or complications.
Risks of the RFA procedure Sensitivity over skin of the injection site13, skin infection over the injection site13, damage to surrounding blood vessels and nerves during needle placement13, heat damage to structures near the target nerve13. Please consult with your doctor for the full list of possible side effects related to the RFA procedure.
Talk with us about this Treatment Option
Schedule a consultation with us or at your next appointment ask if Stryker radiofrequency ablation is a treatment option for you.
1. American Physical Therapy Association (2012, Apr 4). Most Americans live with low back pain – and don’t seek treatment. Retrieved from: https://www.prweb.com/releases/apta/low_back_pain_survey/prweb9366244.htm
13. Kennedy D. (2019, April 23). Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) side effects and risks. Retrieved from: https://www.spine-health.com/treatment/injections/radiofrequency-ablation-rfa-side-effects-and-risks