Radiofrequency (RF) Lesioning

What should you know about...Radiofrequency (RF) Lesioning
Radiofrequency lesioning is used for mechanical causes of  back  and   neck  pain,  such  as  spinal stenosis,  arthritis, and  Failed-Back  Surgery­Syndrome. In addition, it can be used for certain types of headache caused  by injury  to rhe cervical spine.  RF lesioning  involves  disrupting the nerve  to the facet joints  of the spine  with  high energy directed through a small  needle. This creates a controlled destructive  lesion  of the nerve. This  is carefully  performed   by a Pain Specialist  who  has  been  trained   in  this  procedure. Spinal  pain can be relieved for 3-9 months using rhis technique.

The following are basic questions and answers regarding Radiofrequency lesioning:

Is this procedure painful?
No. Prior to lesioning the  needle  is stimulated with a test current  which should reproduce  your pain and  not cause any stimulation ro or move ment  of your  legs or arms.  You are also given a sedative  for the procedure.

Is there pain afterwards?
Sometimes.  For   approximately   I week   after lesioning  there  may be pain from  muscle spasm. It usually  goes  away  and  can  be  treated  with medication during this short  time period.

Is the procedure permanent?
Relief of spinal  pain through  RF lesioning   usually lasts 3-9 months. It is therefore  possible that you may require an additional treatment.

Where is this performed?
In a hospital, outpatient surgical center, or office surgical suite.

Can I drive afterwards?
No. You will receive sedation. In addition, sometimes  there  is  transient   numbness  afterwards. Both could affect your ability to drive.

What if the procedure does not work?
Dr. Sanford  M. Silverman  is  a  board-certified Pain  Specialist  who  can  treat  your  pain  with many different modalities.  A combination of procedures, some more advanced, together with medication   and  physical  therapy  usually  provide relief of pain.