Ablation

Spine & Sports Medical Group

Spine & Sports Medicine & Regenerative Medicine located in Campbell, CA

If you suffer from chronic neck pain, lower back pain, or pain from arthritis, a treatment called radiofrequency ablation can provide lasting relief. This is one of many therapies available through the expert physiatrists of Spine & Sports Medical Group in Campbell, California. To learn more about ablation and the role it can play in pain management, call or book an appointment online today.

Ablation Q & A

What is ablation?

An ablation is a treatment option that can relieve pain for 6-12 months or more. It’s a great treatment for men and women who don’t want to undergo surgery or rely solely on pharmaceutical pain relief methods. 

The word ablation means destruction, and in this application, it involves the destruction of targeted nerve tissues. Nerves are responsible for communicating messages between your body and your brain. Ablation interrupts those transmissions, which in turn reduces pain. 

How does ablation work?

Ablation works by using carefully controlled radiofrequency energy to heat a portion of the targeted nerves. That heat creates damage and prevents the treated nerves from communicating pain signals. 

Radiofrequency ablation can help reduce pain in your neck or back stemming from:

  • Spinal joint degeneration
  • Pain from previous spine surgery
  • Arthritis
  • Whiplash

On the day of your procedure, you’ll receive local anesthesia to prevent discomfort during treatment. Next, a small needle is guided using X-ray imaging to the location of the targeted nerves. 

Once in position, a microelectrode is guided through the needle. Radiofrequency energy is directed through the electrode to heat a very small area of tissue. You’ll communicate with your doctor to determine proper needle placement, although you’ll only feel a slight tingling sensation. 

Ablation is performed on an outpatient basis, so after you spend some time in a recovery area and receive your discharge instructions, you can head home. Be sure to line up a friend or loved one to drive you home after your procedure. 

Is there a lengthy recovery after ablation?

Recovering from radiofrequency ablation is a simple and straightforward process. You’ll need to wait 24 hours to drive or engage in strenuous activities. 

Don’t swim or take a bath for a couple of days to allow your skin to heal and reduce the risk of infection. You’ll need to follow your doctor’s advice for changing the bandaging, but it only takes a few days before there’s no need to cover the treated area. 

If you experience significant leg weakness or pain, swelling, or red skin near the injection site, call the office to determine your next steps. You may need to come in for an evaluation for signs of infection.  

If you’d like to learn more about radiofrequency ablation, schedule a consultation using the easy online booking tool, or call the office during business hours to check appointment availability.