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Patients who suffer from chronic low back pain and neck pain and who have not responded to common or usual pain management interventions such as medications and physical therapy may be candidates for radiofrequency lesioning.

The purpose of radiofrequency lesioning is to reduce or eliminate facet joint pain and related symptoms in the neck or low back. The procedure interrupts communication of pain between a specific medial nerve root (roots that supply the spine’s facet joints) and the brain.

Before RF is performed, the pain generating facet joint nerve is identified by means of a diagnostic injection, such as a facet joint or medial branch nerve block.  Other tests may include MRI.  Since the medial branch nerves do not control neck or low back muscles, it is not harmful to disrupt or turn off their ability to send pain signals to the brain.

Procedure of radiofrequency lesioning

Radiofrequency lesioning is done under fluoroscopic or X-Ray guidance to assist the precise needle placement. By using a special radiofrequency needle and microelectrode, the tissue at the site of pain is stimulated by a small radiofrequency current. That current will generate heat and blocks the pain pathways. Local anesthetic is used to numb the targeted area before the procedure begins.

Procedure can takes between 30 and 60 minutes depending upon the areas to be treated. The patient can go back to their home after the procedure.

Who benefits from radiofrequency lesioning?

The radiofrequency lesioning procedure is typically performed on patients with chronic pain caused by damaged peripheral nerves or sensory nerves and nervous tissue surrounding the central nervous system which is brain and spinal cord. Some particular conditions that fall under this category generally include:

  • Trigeminal neuralgia (chronic facial pain)
  • Occipital nerve neuralgia
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Post-herpetic neuralgia
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), both type 1 and 2
  • Peripheral neuropathies
  • Coccydynia
  • Neck or back pain due to facet joint arthropathy

Advantages of radiofrequency lesioning

The radiofrequency lesioning disrupts nerve conduction like the conduction of pain signals and in turn it may reduce pain, and other related symptoms. Approximately 70-80% of patients among all will get a good block of the intended nerve. This should help relieve the part of the pain that the blocked nerve is controlling. Sometimes after a nerve has been blocked, it becomes clear that there is pain from the other areas as well.

Risks and complications

Possible side effects of radiofrequency lesioning are;

  • Infection
  • Low blood pressure
  • Headache
  • Allergic reaction to medication

Pain management institute is helping people to cure acute and chronic long term pain to resume a normal life style. PMI has provided many treatments like stem cell therapy and many others.

For more details call on 815.412.6166