Radiofrequency Ablation

Radiofrequency Ablation services offered in Atlanta, Fayetteville, Stockbridge, Newnan, GA

If you have unrelenting chronic nerve pain, radiofrequency ablation (RFA) can disable the nerves involved and relieve pain long-term. At Pain Consultants of Atlanta, with four offices located in Atlanta, Fayetteville, Stockbridge and Newnan, Georgia, the interventional pain management specialists team uses the most state-of-the-art techniques to perform RFA as an outpatient procedure. If you’re ready to learn more about this innovative option for rapid and long-lasting relief, call the office nearest you or book your appointment through online scheduling today. 

What is radiofrequency ablation (RFA)?

Radiofrequency ablation is a treatment that ablates, or burns, certain painful nerves. This disrupts the pain signals, stopping them from reaching your brain and preventing you from feeling pain. 

What types of pain does radiofrequency ablation treat?

RFA treats chronic pain in the:

  • Neck
  • Middle back
  • Lower back
  • Sacroiliac joints
  • Shoulders
  • Knees
  • Hips
  • Abdomen or pelvis (related to ovarian or pancreatic cancer)

The most common use of RFA is for chronic back and neck pain relief. 

Am I a good candidate for radiofrequency ablation?

Every patient has different needs, and the Pain Consultants of Atlanta team strives to give you the widest possible array of treatment options so you can help direct your own recovery. 

In general, RFA might be a good option to consider if you have chronic pain that doesn’t improve with physical therapy, oral medication, steroid injections, or other more conservative care. 

Before progressing to RFA, most patients have one or two diagnostic nerve blocks. These injections deliver a powerful anesthetic around the suspected pain point, identifying the nerve requiring treatment. 

Certain types of RFA, like the Intracept® procedure for low back pain, also require a recent MRI.

What happens during the radiofrequency ablation procedure? 

RFA procedures can vary with the location of the painful nerve and the specific type of RFA. The treatment process is similar to injections. You’ll be awake during the procedure. 

The team uses live X-rays (fluoroscopy) to precisely position a thin hollow needle at the location of your pain. They place a tiny electrode through the needle and perform a test to see if you experience tingling, discomfort, or muscle twitching, all signs that the needle and electrode are in the optimal spot.

Then, the team injects an anesthetic, which numbs the treatment area. They deliver radiofrequency energy through the electrode, which creates a heat lesion. Afterward, the nerve isn’t able to conduct nerve signals.

When will my pain go away after radiofrequency ablation? 

The response is different for everyone based on area of pain, specific procedure, and pain intensity. RFA may take effect immediately, but it could be up to a couple of weeks to notice results. 

Radiofrequency ablation is long-lasting, with many people experiencing 6-12 months or even years of continued pain relief.

Ready to learn more about RFA? Call Pain Consultants of Atlanta or book your appointment online today.