Radiofrequency ablation or (RFA) is an outpatient procedure commonly utilized to reduce pain. This procedure is a type of injection in which an electrical current produced by a radio wave produces heat to targeted areas with the goal of interrupting pain signals to the brain.
For safety and proper positioning of the needle, fluoroscopy (special x-ray) is utilized. This ensures proper placement and positioning. A local anesthetic is administered before the procedure begins and has been shown to be effective in cervical, thoracic and lumbar regions of the spine.
Although outcomes vary, patients commonly discover relief lasting from 6-12 months. After that period, the nerve will regenerate and the pain may return requiring additional treatment(s).