Radiofrequency Ablation

Pain Management located in San Antonio and Live Oak, TX
Radiofrequency Ablation

Radiofrequency Ablation services offered in San Antonio and Live Oak, TX

Radiofrequency ablation is a cutting-edge approach to relieving pain that doesn’t improve with other treatments. The pain management specialists at the Spine & Pain Center of San Antonio offer radiofrequency abalation at their offices in San Antonio and Live Oak, Texas. They use minimally invasive radiofrequency ablation to treat spine and large joint conditions when nothing else relieves pain. Call your nearest office to learn more about benefiting from radiofrequency ablation or book online today.

Radiofrequency Ablation Q&A

What is radiofrequency ablation?

Radiofrequency ablation stops pain signals. It uses an electrical current to heat a targeted nerve, destroying it without damaging the surrounding tissues.

Studies of patients after radiofrequency ablation show that most have some degree of relief, with many experiencing significant improvements. 

The treated nerve eventually grows back, but this can take many months. In the meantime, you get long-term symptom reduction.

Why might I need radiofrequency ablation?

Spine & Pain Center of San Antonio uses radiofrequency ablation to treat chronic pain in patients for whom less invasive treatments are unsuccessful.

Most patients with chronic pain find conservative treatments effective. These include physical therapy, medication, and proven complementary therapies such as chiropractic or acupuncture. Those who don’t improve after several months might require additional treatments like steroid injections or nerve blocks.

Your provider might suggest radiofrequency ablation if your pain is still severe after all these treatments.

What conditions can radiofrequency ablation treat?

Radiofrequency ablation treats conditions affecting the spine and major joints, including:

  • Spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal column)
  • Facet joint spinal pain
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Herniated discs
  • Spondylosis
  • Sciatica
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

Radiofrequency ablation can be a safe, effective choice for patients whose only other option is surgery.

What happens during radiofrequency ablation treatment?

Before your procedure begins, your provider inserts a needle and cannula (flexible plastic tube) into an arm vein. You receive sedative medication through the intravenous line that keeps you calm and relaxed.

You lie on your back or stomach, and they inject a local anesthetic to numb the treatment site. They inserts a very thin needle into the treatment site using fluoroscopy (a moving form of X-ray imaging) or ultrasound technology to ensure precise needle placement.

When the needle’s in the correct position, your provider inserts a tiny, narrow wire (microelectrode) and asks you to report any tingling sensations. Your response helps to identify the optimal place to deliver the radiofrequency energy.

They then activate the radiofrequency ablation device, heating the microelectrode and destroying the nerve tissue.

How quickly will I recover from radiofrequency ablation?

You should be able to go home after radiofrequency ablation once your sedative wears off. You might have minor soreness at the treatment site, but this soon disappears. Pain relief is usually instant.

Radiofrequency ablation results typically last 6-12 months. However, many patients continue to benefit for years afterward.

Call Spine & Pain Center of San Antonio today or schedule a consultation online to benefit from radiofrequency ablation for your chronic pain.