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Radiofrequency Ablation

Colorado Clinic

Chronic Pain & Interventional Pain Management Specialists located in Colorado Springs, CO, & Greeley, CO

When chronic pain conditions fail to respond using advanced therapies like steroid injections, radiofrequency ablation could be the next step. Colorado Clinic has offices in Colorado Springs, and Greeley, Colorado, where the experienced physicians carry out minimally invasive radiofrequency ablation to deactivate pain nerves in the affected part of your spine or knee. To see if radiofrequency ablation could resolve your chronic pain, call Colorado Clinic today or book an appointment online.

Radiofrequency Ablation Q & A

What is radiofrequency ablation?

Radiofrequency ablation is an advanced treatment for chronic pain. It uses electrical energy to heat and destroy nerve tissue that’s sending pain signals to your brain. 

Colorado Clinic uses radiofrequency ablation to help patients with chronic pain conditions that aren’t responding to less invasive methods. Patients most often find that their symptoms improve using treatments such as physical therapy, medication, and biologics like platelet-rich plasma (PRP).

Pain that persists despite these treatments might require further interventions in the form of steroid injections to reduce long-standing inflammation. Only if these fail would you reach the point where radiofrequency ablation becomes an option.

Research into patients after they receive radiofrequency ablation indicates that most experience some reduction in their pain, with many finding significant benefit from their treatment. 

What can radiofrequency ablation treat?

Colorado Clinic primarily uses radiofrequency ablation to treat conditions affecting the spine. These could include:

  • Spinal stenosis
  • Facet joint syndrome
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Herniated discs
  • Cervical radiculopathy
  • Lumbar radiculopathy (sciatica)
  • Failed back surgery syndrome
  • Post-laminectomy syndrome

Because radiofrequency ablation targets pain nerves, it’s particularly effective in treating radiculopathy — the pinching or damage of spinal nerves. Radiofrequency ablation is also an effective treatment for advanced osteoarthritis in the knees.

To confirm that radiofrequency ablation will be effective and pinpoint the nerves that need treating, Colorado Clinic performs a nerve block on your spine or knee. This is an injection of local anesthetic that numbs the nerves in a specific area.

What does the radiofrequency ablation procedure involve?

Radiofrequency ablation isn’t a surgical procedure, but it involves having a sedative to relax. Your provider at Colorado Clinic also uses a local anesthetic to numb the skin at the treatment site.

Using image guidance such as fluoroscopy (a special kind of moving X-ray), your provider inserts a hollow needle into your spine. The images they use show them exactly where the needle needs to go.

Once the treatment is complete, you remain under observation until the sedative wears off, then you can return home. The results of radiofrequency ablation treatment typically last 6-12 months. However, some patients find that they benefit for years following radiofrequency ablation.

To find out if radiofrequency ablation could ease your chronic pain, call Colorado Clinic today or book an appointment online.