At Unique Pain Medicine of New York, we offer Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) as a highly effective treatment option for moderate to severe arthritis and spondylosis. This simple office based procedure can decrease pain and stiffness, increase mobility, and improve quality of life.
Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a safe, minimally invasive procedure which aims to reduce back pain, neck pain, headaches, and knee pain secondary to the degeneration of joints and arthritis. An electrical current provides heat to a small area of nerve tissue. This significantly deceases pain and improves mobility and function.
Conditions Treated With Radiofrequency Ablation
Radiofrequency Ablation is a highly successful treatment utilized for a variety of conditions including:
- Low back pain
- Neck and mid-back pain
- Facet joint arthritis/arthropathy
- Cervicogenic headaches
- Knee pain secondary to osteoarthritis
- Sacroiliac joint pain
Typical Benefits Of Radiofrequency Ablation
- Long lasting, substantial pain relief
- Over 80% reduction in pain
- Improved range of motion and mobility
- Short recovery time
- Reduction in pain medication consumption
- May be an alternative to surgery
Is Radiofrequency ablation covered by insurance?
Yes, Radiofrequency Ablation is covered by all health plans.
Dr. Mila Mogilevsky, D.O. talks about Radio-Frequency Ablations
Dr. Mila Mogilevsky, medical director of Unique Pain Medicine, talks about Radio-frequency Ablation.
What Is The Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) Procedure?
- It typically takes 30 minutes. It can be done with local anesthesia, or IV sedation for comfort if desired. It is generally not painful and well tolerated.
- After numbing the skin with local anesthesia, a small needle is inserted next to the affected joint with X-ray guidance (fluoroscopy).
- After proper placement of the needle is confirmed, an electrode is inserted through the needle, which will provide heat to the affected area.
- Each targeted area is heated for 90 seconds. The needle is then withdraw, and a band aid is applied.
- Heat interrupts the damaged pain pathway, causing a substantial reduction in pain, improved range of motion, improved activity level and quality of life.
Patients may return to work the next day. It typically takes 4-6 weeks after a RFA to see full results.
Commonly Asked Questions About Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA)
What is radiofrequency ablation for back pain?
RFA for back pain is a treatment option for patients who have recurrent back pain from arthritis or spondylosis of the facet joints. An electrical current is passed through a needle into the nerves of the facet joints. This creates an interruption in the pain pathway and produces a significant reduction in pain, increase in mobility, and allows for a more active lifestyle.
What is radiofrequency nerve ablation?
Radiofrequency nerve ablation is a non surgical treatment option for patients with back pain, neck pain, headaches, knee and sacro-iliac joint pain. During the procedure, heat is applied to the painful target area. Heat causes an interruption in the pain pathway, and produces significant pain relief.
Is radiofrequency (RFA) ablation safe?
RFA is very safe. When performed by true experts, side effects are very rare as there are multiple measures that are taken during the procedure in order to ensure patient safety.
Is radiofrequency ablation painful?
Radiofrequency ablation is generally minimally uncomfortable and very well tolerated. We do offer IV sedation which is administered by a board certified anesthesiologist in order to ensure your safety and comfort. This will help you relax and make the procedure completely painless.
What are the side effects of radiofrequency ablation?
Side effects are generally mild and easy to manage. You may experience soreness at the site. You may also experience a slight increase in your symptoms for a few days as the nerves that were ablated can be irritated. This is usually managed with ice and anti inflammatory medication.
How long does it take for radiofrequency ablation to work?
It typically takes 4-6 weeks to see full results. Some patients can feel benefits before the 4-6 week mark,but we ask patients to wait the full 6 weeks prior to evaluating results.
How often can you have radiofrequency ablation (RFA)?
RFA can be performed up to 2 times per year. You must wait at least 6 months after an RFA before having another RFA.
What is the success rate of radiofrequency ablation?
Radiofrequency ablation has an 80% success rate when performed in patients who had 2 successful medial branch blocks prior to the ablation.
What is the cost of radiofrequency ablation?
Radiofrequency ablation is covered by all health insurance plans. If there is any cost to you (co-pay, deductible) you will be notified ahead of time.
What to expect after radiofrequency ablation?
You will be monitored in the recovery area for 30 minutes. You may have mild soreness which can be managed with ice or ibuprofen. Recovery is generally very short and you may return to work the next day. Over the next 4-6 weeks, you should experience a significant reduction in pain and other symptoms. You should start a PT course.
How do you prepare for radiofrequency ablation?
Please wear loose fitting clothes and bring someone to escort you home. If you will be having IV sedation, do not eat solid food for 6 hours prior. You may drink water, apple juice or black coffee for up to 2 hours before your procedure.
Are You A Candidate for Radiofrequency Ablation?
Dr. Mila Mogilevsky talks about proper candidacy for Radio-Frequency Ablation. Are you the right candidate?
How Can Radiofrequency Ablation Help Your Knee Pain?
Dr. Mila Mogilevsky discusses the benefits of Radio-Frequency Ablation for knee pain.
When Radiofrequency Ablation is performed on the knee, the procedure is done via small needles around the knee capsule.
- Three needles are inserted around the outside of the knee near the genicular nerves.
- Gentle heat is applied near the nerves, and this helps decrease pain from moderate to severe knee osteoarthritis.
There is minimal recovery time and no incisions are needed. Pain relief tends to be substantial, with over 80% reduction in symptoms and improvement in function.