Monarch Pain Management
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Nerve Ablations

Nerve ablation is a minimally invasive surgical procedure done to destroy pain-causing nerve fibers, thus completely stopping the transmission of pain signals to the brain. This procedure can be performed by utilizing cold, heat, or chemicals.

Nerve ablations are not permanent as over time the nerve tends to regenerate. This type of procedure’s effectiveness generally lasts about 6-9 months and may need to be repeated if the pain returns. Physicians may suggest this treatment to patients when conservative modalities like physical therapy and medication management fail to control a patient’s pain. Nerve ablations are also a good option for patients who are avoiding surgery and looking for treatment with a quick recovery to return to their daily routine in no time.

Radiofrequency Nerve Ablation

RFA or radiofrequency nerve ablation, utilizes radio waves to heat up a small region of nerve tissue. The heat generated destroys the nerve, stopping it from sending pain signals to the brain. RFA can provide long-term pain relief to patients suffering from chronic pain in the neck, lower back, and arthritic joints. The RFA procedure is used to reduce the pain and improve mobility while reducing medication use and avoiding or delaying surgery.

Conditions that can be Treated with Radiofrequency Nerve Ablation

For many patients, radiofrequency ablation is a viable option when it comes to chronic pain management. This procedure can be utilized to treat a wide range of conditions, including:

  • Back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Knee pain
  • Sacroiliitis
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Pelvic pain

What to Expect During Radiofrequency Nerve Ablation?

During a radiofrequency nerve ablation, a small, hollow needle is inserted near the pain-causing nerve. An electrode is inserted through the needle in order to send radio waves to the specific nerve. The heat generated by the radio waves destroys part of the nerve which prevents the transmission of the pain signals to the brain. Other surrounding healthy nerves are not damaged. The patient may be given a mild sedative and a numbing agent for the skin area where the needle is inserted. Patients undergoing RFA can go home the same day and resume usual activities within 24 hours.

Risks Associated with Nerve Ablation

Though rare, significant risks are involved during the nerve ablation procedure. Some of these risks involve:

  • Hyperesthesia, which is an abnormal and excessive sensitivity of the skin around the injection site
  • Possible damage to surrounding nerves and blood vessels during the insertion of needles
  • Skin infections at the injection site
  • Allergic reaction to the medications used
  • Damage to the structures near to target nerve due to heat/cold

Nerve ablation is a very successful treatment for chronic pain conditions as it utilizes heat to target the problem nerve without damaging other healthy tissues. If traditional treatments fail to provide adequate relief, the physician may advise using this treatment. 

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