Chronic Pain Management with Radiofrequency Ablation

Chronic Pain Management with Radiofrequency Ablation

The nervous system in the body has a very important role in creating pain. When the body is experiencing a disturbance, the nerves will send a signal to the brain; then the brain will interpret the signal and send it back to the problematic part of the body so that it interferes with the process of sending the signal, the pain you initially felt can be reduced. Procedures can overcome pain through ablation or neurotomy, one of which is the radiofrequency ablation method.


What is Radiofrequency Ablation?

Radiofrequency ablation, also known as a rhizotomy, is a non-surgical, minimally invasive procedure that uses heat to stop or reduce pain transmission. The radiofrequency waves subside or cauterize the nerves causing the pain, eliminating the transmission of pain signals to the brain.

This radiofrequency ablation procedure is used most often in treating chronic pain and conditions such as inflammation of the joints of the spine (spondylosis) and sacroiliitis. Not only that, radiofrequency ablation is also used in the treatment of neck, back, knee, and peripheral nerve pain. Radiofrequency ablation has benefits, including avoidance of surgery, relief of aches or pains, decreased need for painkillers, and faster recovery.

Radiofrequency ablation can stop nerves from sending pain signals to the brain so that the pain you feel can subside.


Who Needs Radiofrequency Ablation?

This procedure is recommended for people with longstanding chronic pain, such as the neck, back, hip, or knee pain. Generally, pain sufferers do not improve even though they have been given medication or therapy, and surgery is not the right choice.

In patients usually recommended by doctors for radiofrequency ablation in the following conditions:

  • There is pain on one or both sides of the lower back.
  • Radiating pain from the buttocks to the thighs
  • Pain worsens when lifting and rotating weights.
  • When lying down, the pain feels better.

In reducing back and neck pain, the doctor will target the nerves in the facet joints or sacroiliac joints in the spine. The nerves in these joints carry pain signals from the spine to the brain and are connected to nerves that carry signals to other parts of the body.

Apart from treating pain in body parts, frequency ablation is also usually used by doctors to treat other pain.


How Do Doctors Perform Radiofrequency Ablation?

The radiofrequency ablation procedure is an outpatient only. This means that after carrying out this procedure, the patient can go home immediately.

In starting the radiofrequency ablation procedure, the patient needs to change clothes with special clothes that have been prepared by the nurse, after which the patient will lie down on the x-ray table.

Then, the doctor will inject a local anesthetic into the area of the skin where the target nerve is located. By doing anesthesia, the area of the skin will become numb, so the patient will not feel pain during the radiofrequency ablation procedure.

During this procedure, the doctor will use a special X-ray device that guides the needle into the correct location of the nerve and passes a microelectrode through the needle, and then a small radiofrequency current is sent through the microelectrode so that the nerve tissue can be heated.

During the procedure, the doctor will ask if the patient feels a tingling sensation. This is to help the doctor to find out where the electrode position is correct.


Results of Radiofrequency Ablation

Radiofrequency Ablation Intervention Techniques are not a permanent treatment for pain relief. Maybe some people feel the pain subsides in the short term or only briefly. However, pain in some other patients may take longer to subside.

The results of this procedure can provide relief from chronic pain for approximately 6 to 12 months. For this procedure to be effective, the nerves that are targeted must be the nerves that actually contribute to your pain.

Therefore, radiofrequency ablation is useful for relieving pain felt by patients without surgery or surgery. If Hermina's friend experiences pain, you can consult with the doctor and the pain management clinic team at Hermina Bogor Hospital.

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