Pros and cons of radiofrequency treatment for chronic back pain

Radio frequency neurotomy, also called radio frequency ablation or lesion, is a procedure that deliberately hurts nerves to prevent pain signals from being sent to and processed by the brain. This is a minimum invasive surgical procedure provided for those who suffer from chronic pain that have not found assistance from more conservative care methods.

Radiofrequency treatment can be used in patients with pain from degenerative discs, facet joints or sacroiliac (SI) joints. Guided by fluoroscopy, the electrode is inserted into the body and is placed on the targeted nerve. After being positioned correctly, the electrode is heated to make the lesion on the nerve. A newer form of procedure, sophisticated covers the cooling phase; This increases the electrode impact area and hopefully useful in certain locations of the body.

This treatment is not a permanent solution; Over time, the nerve heals and restores pain. It is important to remember that radiofrequency is a treatment that discusses the symptoms of pain, not the initial cause. Review the following pros and cons before deciding whether to receive this procedure.


For people who cannot do daily activities or work because of pain, procedures such as radio frequency neurotomy can be very positive. If it is effective, this procedure allows people to return to work and carry out basic everyday activities such as running without excessive pain.

The results of radiofrequency treatment can last up to one or two years, which can make it more interesting than steroid injections, other general care for joint pain and SI.

Neurotomy is a less invasive procedure than other surgeery methods to eliminate joint pain and discs, especially fusion operations. Fusion creates a rigid segment between the spine or pelvic bones and sacrum to inhibit the painful movement of instability. This procedure is equipped with a high price label and a number of risks, including the acceleration of facet joint acceleration and spinal discs near the fused joints. Radio frequency lesions can provide sufficient pain relievers to avoid more invasive operations.

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