Radiofrequency Ablation

Interventional Pain Medicine in Knoxville, TN
Radiofrequency Ablation

Radiofrequency Ablation services offered in Knoxville, TN

Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) treats neck, mid-back, or low back pain by disrupting nerve function. The team of premier pain management specialists at Pain Medicine of the South offers solutions for your neck or back pain in their Knoxville, Tennessee, office. To find out more about how radiofrequency ablation can help you, call the office or click the online scheduler to book your consultation now.

What is radiofrequency ablation?

Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a minimally invasive procedure that disables pain-triggering nerves. Pain Medicine of the South offers RFA in three areas, including: 

Cervical  RFA

Cervical RFA treats chronic neck, shoulder, and upper back pain. 

Thoracic RFA

Thoracic RFA treats chronic upper and middle back pain. 

Lumbar RFA

Lumbar RFA treats low back, buttock, hip, and groin pain. 

Problems like spinal arthritis (spondylosis) and nerve damage respond particularly well to RFA, but the procedure can also treat other problems, including spinal tumors. 

Who needs radiofrequency ablation?

RFA may be the right treatment for people who don’t respond to conservative care like oral medication and physical therapy. 

Most people have a nerve block injection prior to their RFA. If the injection relieves your pain, at least temporarily, it tells your provider that you could be a good candidate for RFA to deactivate that nerve long-term.

How does radiofrequency ablation work?

In an RFA procedure, your doctor numbs your skin with a local anesthetic. They then use fluoroscopy (real-time X-rays) to position a needle and stimulate the nerve causing your pain. 

Your doctor numbs the treatment area within your spine and then inserts a thin hollow needle into the painful nerve. They slide an electrode into the hollow needle and send radiofrequency energy waves directly to the nerve. 

The energy converts to heat within your nerve, causing a lesion that prevents the nerve from transmitting pain signals. 

Depending on where your pain comes from, your doctor may repeat the process on several levels of your spine. 

What happens following radiofrequency ablation?

After RFA, it’s normal to have some minor soreness for several days. You could also experience numbness, weakness, or itchiness in the treatment area for a few weeks. 

Maximum relief from RFA usually takes 2-3 weeks. At that point, many patients experience remarkable pain relief and can return to the activities they previously had to give up. 

How long do results from radiofrequency ablation last?

RFA results are typically long-lasting. Nerves regenerate slowly over time, taking up to 18 months to grow back. 

But nerve regrowth doesn’t necessarily mean your pain will return. If that does happen, you can have another RFA procedure for lasting relief. 

Want to learn more about radiofrequency ablation? Call Pain Medicine of the South or book your consultation using online scheduling today.