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What to Expect During Radiofrequency Ablation

What to Expect During Radiofrequency Ablation

One in two American adults is living with a musculoskeletal condition like back pain or arthritis. Your musculoskeletal system includes your bones, joints, and muscles — and all too often, disease or damage can leave you with musculoskeletal pain that doesn’t go away.

Chronic pain can limit your mobility and erode your quality of life. Diagnosing the cause of your pain and treating it effectively can be difficult, but help is available. If you’re living with pain, it might be time to see a pain management specialist for relief.

Eric Fanaee, MD, offers the latest in pain management techniques for people of all ages, including radiofrequency ablation, a nonsurgical option that delivers lasting pain relief in more than 70% of patients.

Radiofrequency ablation for pain management

Pain is complex. Pain signals originate in your nervous system, and when those signals travel to your brain, you feel pain. It’s your body’s way of telling you something is wrong, but sometimes pain continues without a useful purpose.

Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive procedure for pain relief. It works by stopping the pain where it starts: in the nerves of your spine or other joint. Dr. Fanaee recommends radiofrequency ablation as a treatment option for a number of pain conditions, including:

You could be a candidate for radiofrequency ablation if you had a diagnostic nerve block injection and it helped relieve your pain. Both temporary nerve blocks and radiofrequency ablation stop specific nerves from sending pain signals to your brain, effectively relieving certain types of pain.

Radiofrequency ablation is a good option for many people with back, neck, or joint pain, but the procedure may not be recommended in some cases. If you’re pregnant, you have an infection, or you have a bleeding disorder, Dr. Fanaee can suggest other methods to relieve your pain.

What to expect during a radiofrequency ablation procedure

If you choose radiofrequency ablation, our team gives you instructions to prepare for your procedure. This might include fasting for at least six hours before your appointment and not drinking any liquids for about two hours beforehand.

Our team starts by administering an intravenous anesthetic to keep you comfortable. We help you lie on your stomach or back depending on your treatment area, and Dr. Fanaee starts the procedure, directing a small needle into the area. Using X-ray to guide him, he precisely positions the needle and inserts a microelectrode.

The microelectrode transmits radio waves that gently heat the target nerve. You may feel tingling, but the process shouldn’t hurt. The heat effectively destroys the nerve that’s responsible for sending those chronic pain signals. The result is less pain.

There’s no downtime after radiofrequency ablation, but you need to have someone drive you home once your procedure is complete. Dr. Fanaee checks in with you over the following weeks, and he may recommend additional radiofrequency ablation sessions depending on your needs.

Effective treatment for your chronic pain

Radiofrequency ablation is safe and effective for many people dealing with chronic musculoskeletal pain. Although individual results vary, you may enjoy lasting pain relief for 6-12 months or even longer.

When conservative treatment isn’t enough — but you don’t want surgery — radiofrequency ablation could be the answer to your chronic pain. Schedule a pain management consultation with Dr. Fanaee by calling our office at 631-265-2020, or book one online now.

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