Before the procedure: Since you will be mildly sedated during the procedure, remember to bring a driver. Failure to do so may result in the procedure being rescheduled.
During the procedure: Both a local anesthetic and a mild sedative will be used to make you comfortable during the procedure. You may need to be awake and alert during parts of the procedure to aid in properly pinpointing the ideal placement of the radiofrequency probe.
During the procedure: You will be lying on either your stomach or your back. After the local anesthetic has been administered, the doctor will insert a small needle into the general area where you experience pain. Under the guidance of x-ray, the doctor will guide the needle in the exact target area. A probe will then be inserted through the needle to begin the stimulation process. During this process, the doctor asks you if you feel a tingling sensation. The object of the stimulation process is to help the doctor determine if the probe is in the best area for treatment to produce the most relief. Once the needle and probe placement is verified, treatment can begin. A small radiofrequency current will travel through the probe in the surrounding tissue, causing the tissue to heat and interrupt pain signals from that specific area.
After the procedure: You may experience some discomfort at the needle placement site(s) after the procedure. The discomfort will subside over several days. Also, after the procedure, it is very common to have low back pain and muscle spasms for several days to several weeks. You should be able to resume normal activities, including work, as soon as you feel able.
Radiofrequency treatment of tissue usually blocks pain signals for a prolonged period of time. However, the human body may regenerate pain pathways over time. It is not unusual that the procedure may need to be repeated.
Continue to use your pain medication as directed only. If you are not receiving adequate pain relief post-procedure, please contact our office.