Lumbar Radiofrequency Ablation

What is a Radiofrequency ablation?


A Lumbar RFA is a procedure that is used for treatment of low back pain which results from arthritis affecting Lumbar facet joints, a condition also known as Lumbar Spondylosis or Lumbar Facet Syndrome. Lumbar RFA uses radio waves to interrupt pain signals from small nerves called medial branches , which provide pain signals to the joints. The goal of the radiofrequency procedure is to prolong the relief sustained by medial branch blocks or facet joint injections. Radiofrequency neurotomy is only performed once the facet joints have been precisely identified as a source of pain. 

Who is a Candidate for a Lumbar Radiofrequency Ablation?

This procedure is only performed for patients once the Lumbar Facet joints have been precisely identified as a source of low back pain after Lumbar Medial Branch Blocks or Facet Injections provided significant but temporary pain relief.

What are the benefits of a Lumbar radiofrequency ablation?

This procedure is very effective for treatment of low back pain resulting from Lumbar Facet joint Arthritis. The Benefits of this procedure is that it is a completely Steroid free treatment, provides significant pain relief in most patients lasting on averages 6-8 months, and is only performed after Lumbar facet joints have been isolated as a significant source of low back pain.

How is the Lumbar Radiofrequency Ablation performed?

Lumbar RFA is performed in a ambulatory surgical center, with the use of fluoroscopic guidance, and is very similar to previously performed Lumbar Medial Branch Blocks. There are few differences, which your physician will discuss with you in details prior to the procedure.

What should I expect after a Lumbar Radiofrequency Ablation?

This procedure takes about 30 minutes to perform, and patient are usually discharged home ambulatory after being monitored for about an hour. Most patients will experience soreness around the procedure site, which is usually is relieved with applying ice packs, and analgesic medications. The maximum benefit following lumbar radiofrequency ablation may take up to 4-6 weeks, but many patients report pain relief much sooner.