Many patients come to Summa Pain Care in North Scottsdale to receive radiofrequency ablation for many conditions. Radiofrequency ablation, commonly known as RFA, is a minimally invasive procedure that is utilized to treat various ailments, including cancer and abnormal heart rhythms. However, it is primarily used to alleviate chronic pain symptoms.
RFA has been an established treatment option for chronic neck and back arthritis pain for many years, and more recently, it has been employed to treat peripheral joint arthritis, such as in the hip and knee, as well as the lumbar disc area. Patients who have experienced positive outcomes through diagnostic nerve or pain receptor block injection could benefit from RFA, as it provides long-term pain relief.
What is Radiofrequency Ablation in North Scottsdale?
Radiofrequency ablation (RFA), is a modern technique used for controlling pain. This procedure does not involve any surgery; instead, it employs radiofrequency waves that are directed towards specific nerves to disrupt the transmission of pain signals to the brain.
RFA is usually employed to alleviate pain caused by facet joints, which are small joints found at each vertebral level of the spine that can contribute to chronic pain in the neck or lower back. It can also be used for sacroiliac joints located at the lowest part of the spine, between the sacrum and ilium in the pelvis, which are also connected to nerves that transmit signals to other body parts.
Apart from treating pain from facet and sacroiliac joints, RFA can also address other types of pain, such as stomach pain caused by pancreatic cancer, pelvic pain caused by ovarian cancer, or facial pain caused by trigeminal neuralgia. Patients undergoing RFA for trigeminal neuralgia can refer to this resource for more information on what to expect.
How is Radiofrequency Ablation Performed at Summa Pain Care?
To perform the procedure, a needle is inserted into the body to reach the target nerve, typically with the help of x-ray guidance. An electrode is then placed into the needle, and an electrical generator is used to produce heat in the surrounding tissue. This heat causes the nerve to cease transmitting pain signals.
Dr. Pannozzo’s patients typically experience pain relief lasting 12-15 months in their cervical or lumbar spines following radiofrequency ablation (RFA), although it can sometimes last much longer. Relief from hip or knee arthritis pains is more variable due to the higher number of nerves associated with these joints, and not all nerves can be ablated.
Patients usually start to feel pain relief 1 to 3 weeks after the procedure. While rest is typically recommended for several days following RFA, patients can gradually return to their normal activities as tolerated. In some cases, a guided physical therapy regimen may be recommended to address de-conditioning caused by chronic pain.
Nerve Ablation Success and Risks
Nerve ablation, accomplished through radiofrequency ablation, is a method of disabling nerve fibers that transmit chronic pain signals through the spinal cord to the brain. In about 70% of cases, RFA provides pain relief that lasts for a year or more, making it a potentially useful technique for people with chronic arthritis or degenerative back and neck issues.
For those with chronic venous insufficiency, a condition in which insufficient blood flow from one or more diseased veins in the legs can lead to blood pooling, pain, and other issues, radiofrequency ablation may be able to seal off the diseased vein and redirect blood flow to healthier veins in the legs.
Although RFA is relatively new, it generally carries lower risks than open surgery. While bleeding or infection at the probe insertion site is a rare concern, some people may experience temporary weakness or numbness, or swelling or bruising at the site. A potential but uncommon complication is a change in the patient’s voice, which could be permanent.
Final Thoughts on Radiofrequency Ablation in North Scottsdale
Summa Pain Care, the premier pain management practice in Arizona, offers radiofrequency ablation as a long-term option that can improve patients’ quality of life and mobility. Summa Pain Care in North Scottsdale performs specialized tests to diagnose chronic pain conditions and provides appropriate prescription and management of medications for varying levels of severity, including helping patients reduce or eliminate their prescription pain medications.
Additionally, Summa Pain Care has locations in Peoria and Phoenix. For instant access, call our Phoenix location at 623.580.4357, Peoria at 623.776.8686 or contact us in North Scottsdale at 480.786.1771.
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