Coastal Spine is focused entirely on treatment of the neck and spine. Sometimes, we will need to alleviate the existing pain before you can work on physical therapy and other nonsurgical therapies with a variety of treatments.
One of the ways we attempt to alleviate neck and spine distress is through a radiofrequency ablation procedure. In some cases, this treatment can provide longer-term pain relief than an injection. Radiofrequency is an option for patients where injections have not worked or for those in chronic pain.
During a radiofrequency ablation procedure, our specialists use a type of heat called radiofrequency to target nerves that carry pain impulses and eliminate them. This can reduce or alleviate pain for a few months up to a year.
Coastal Spine uses epidural steroid injections in two situations:
- Rehabilitation – Radiofrequency ablation procedures can provide relief that will help patients undergo rehabilitation without battling through otherwise acute pain and inflammation.
- Pain – Several common conditions, including chronic spinal pain, spondylosis, trauma and post-surgical pain, can cause severe to acute low back and/or leg pain. For these and other conditions that can cause chronic pain, radiofrequency ablation may be an effective nonsurgical treatment option.
The procedure typically takes about 20 minutes to an hour and is performed under mild sedation. After the recovery time, the patient is required to have a driver for transportation home.
Radiofrequency Ablation of Sacroiliac Joints
If SI joint injections caused significant however brief episodes of pain relief, a radiofrequency ablation of the sacroiliac joints may be performed. This procedure uses electrical currents produced by radio waves that heat up small nerves that supply sensation to the SI joint.
Radiofrequency Ablation of the Facet Joints
A minimally invasive procedure that is done after a medial branch block for more long-term pain relief resulting from facet joint arthritis. This procedure, uses electrical currents produced by radio waves to heat up the small nerves that innervate the facet joint. This heat up to decrease pain signals from the facet joint arthritis.