Radiofrequency Nerve Ablation in
in Plainfield, Romeoville, and Naperville, Illinois
Radiofrequency Nerve Ablation Specialist in Romeoville & Plainfield, IL
At Absolute Integrated, we offer radiofrequency nerve ablation services! This minimally invasive procedure destroys the nerves that carries pain signals to the brain. Call us today or request an appointment online.
Radiofrequency nerve ablation is a procedure to nullify a specific nerve or nerves, effectively rendering them “deactivated.” This procedure is performed when a patient is experiencing excruciating pain, and is used to aid in the treatment of pain by disabling the nerve function. Radiofrequency nerve ablation is commonly performed on nerves affecting the neck, back and legs.
What are the side effects of radiofrequency ablation?
Radiofrequency ablation causes minor side effects, such as:
- Skin discoloration
- Minor bleeding at the site of needle insertion
- Temporary numbness
- Temporary pain at procedure site
In rare cases, more serious complications can occur, including:
- Nerve damage
How painful is nerve ablation?
In the area that was worked on, it is not uncommon to feel some discomfort, superficial burning pain, or hypersensitivity. Many patients have described the sensation as similar to a sunburn. Typically, this pain does not last longer than 1 to 2 weeks after the procedure.
Since it can take some time for the ablated nerves to die and stop sending pain signals, full pain relief can be expected within 2 to 3 weeks after the procedure. There is the potential that you might feel unusually weak in the back or neck during this time, which will dissipate as you recover.
How long does a radiofrequency ablation procedure take?
RFA may or may not be performed under mild sedation. If sedation is used, the patient is usually kept awake and conscious to an extent to be able to describe what they feel during the stimulation and lesioning of the nerve. RFA involves the following steps:
- The patient lies on his/her stomach on a procedure table. If sedation is used, an intravenous (IV) line is started so that relaxation medicine (sedation) can be given.
- The skin over the treatment area (neck, mid-back, or low back) is well cleaned to minimize the risk of infection.
- The physician numbs a small area of skin by injecting a numbing medicine (anesthetic) in the region of the RFA injection site.
- The physician uses x-ray guidance (fluoroscopy) to direct the RFA needle toward the medial or lateral branch nerves.
- Medial branch nerves transmit pain from the facet joint(s). Each facet joint is connected to 2 medial branch nerves that carry pain signals away from the spine to the brain.
- Lateral branch nerves transmit pain signals from the sacroiliac joint(s)between the sacrum and ilium in the pelvis to the brain.
- Once the needle tip is placed accurately, an active electrode is inserted through the needle and a small amount of electrical current is carefully passed next to the target nerve and a safe distance from other nerves. This current may briefly recreate the painful symptoms that the patient usually experiences.
- Once the target nerve is confirmed, a heat lesion is created on the nerve using the preferred method (conventional, pulsed, or water-cooled radiofrequency) of ablation.
This process may be repeated for additional nerves.
The entire procedure usually last around 30 to 90 minutes. It is advised to have someone drive the patient home after the procedure.
If you or someone you know is experiencing pain in the neck, back or extremities, radio frequency nerve ablation may be the solution for you! At Absolute Integrated, we have specialists to help you relieve pain and get you back to feeling like yourself again! Contact our office today to get in touch with a specialist. To book an appointment, call us or visit us online!