Radiofrequency ablation (RFA), or radiofrequency neurotomy, is a type of injection procedure that is used to treat several conditions including chronic neck and/or back pain. In the neck and back, pain stemming from the vertebral facet joints or the hip’s sacroiliac joints or the posterior pelvis may be treated using RFA.
RFA involves heating a part of the pain-transmitting nerve with a radiofrequency needle to create a heat lesion. This resulting lesion prevents the nerve from sending pain signals to the brain.
Goals of Radiofrequency Ablation
The goals of treating facet and sacroiliac joints with RFA are to:
- Reduce neck or back pain for longer periods of time, typically for more than 6 months.1,2
- Improve neck and back function for more range of motion, which may allow the patient to continue with a physical therapy program.
- Reduce the intake of pain medications, which tend to have serious side effects or risks when used long term.
- Avoid or delay surger