Radiofrequency Ablation Procedures


Radiofrequency ablation is used to treat a number of chronic pain conditions including arthritis, neuropathic pain, conditions of the spine, and more. Seventy percent of patients who undergo this procedure have experienced pain relief and some for up to two years. Radiofrequency ablation has proven beneficial for a number of patients who have not experienced significant pain relief using conventional methods.


Before the radiofrequency ablation procedure at The Spine & Pain Center, we ask patients to fast for a period of time and to only drink clear liquids. This will help reduce the risk of complications during the procedure. A physician will determine which medications should be discontinued prior to the procedure.

An IV will be placed for sedation during the ablation but the patient will be awake and able to communicate with the physician. Once the area is properly cleansed, a fluoroscope is used by the physician to correctly place the needle. As the needle is inserted, an electrode will be placed through the needle and into the body. A heat sensation is sent into the tissue as radiofrequency waves are directed to the electrode. As a result, the nerve tissue is temporarily unable to send pain signals to the brain. When the procedure is complete, the Spine & Pain Center team monitors the patient for a short period of time and then releases the patient to go home the same day.

After Care

Following a radiofrequency ablation procedure, patients are advised to rest for 24 hours and to refrain from driving and physical activity. For any soreness at the injection site, we recommend icing the area and using medication as prescribed. The patient should also watch for signs of infection or allergic reaction to the dye used with the fluoroscope and/or the medication. Patients with a reaction should call The Spine & Pain Center immediately. Also, it may take a few weeks following the procedure to notice the effects of the radiofrequency ablation and results may vary. Patients have experienced pain relief from a few months to two years. The procedure may be repeated if necessary.