Radiofrequency Ablation

Radiofrequency Ablation: Essentials

Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) is a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure that offers significant relief for chronic pain, especially in conditions affecting the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar areas, as well as for arthritis, neck, knee, and hip pain. Utilising radiofrequency waves to heat and deactivate pain-transmitting nerves, RFA provides patients with a non-surgical option to manage their pain effectively. Recovery is swift, with most patients resuming normal activities within a few days, and the results can last from six months to two years, making it a compelling choice for those seeking long-term pain relief.

Don’t let pain hold you back any longer. Book your appointment now and embark on your journey to recovery.

What is Radiofrequency Ablation?

Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) is a minimally invasive procedure utilised for the management of chronic pain.

By employing radiofrequency waves to generate heat, RFA targets specific nerves that are transmitting pain signals to the brain. This process effectively interrupts the pain signalling pathway, providing significant relief. RFA is particularly effective in treating conditions such as back pain, arthritis, neck pain, knee pain, and hip pain. It is applied to various areas including the cervical, thoracic, lumbar medial branch, facet joint, sacroiliac joint lateral branches, and the genicular nerves of the knee, as well as the obturator and femoral nerves of the hip.

Radiofrequency Ablation Treatment

Importantly, RFA differs from Pulsed Radiofrequency Treatment, offering a distinct approach to pain management.

Ideal Candidates for Radiofrequency Ablation

Candidates best suited for Radiofrequency Ablation are those who have experienced chronic pain that has not responded adequately to conservative treatments, such as medication or physical therapy.

Patients should have a clear understanding of the procedure and realistic expectations about the outcomes. Those seeking a non-surgical, minimally invasive option to manage and reduce chronic pain are considered ideal candidates for Radiofrequency Ablation.

Radiofrequency Ablation Procedure

The Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) procedure is meticulously designed to minimise discomfort and maximise efficacy in treating chronic pain. Initially, patients undergo a brief pre-procedure assessment to ensure they’re adequately prepared and to address any last-minute concerns. During the procedure, the patient is typically given a local anaesthetic and, if necessary, mild sedation to ensure comfort throughout the process.

Guided by fluoroscopic (X-ray) imaging and/or ultrasound, the physician precisely positions a thin needle near the targeted nerves responsible for the pain. Once correctly placed, a radiofrequency current is passed through the needle, heating the nerve and disrupting its ability to transmit pain signals to the brain. The entire process usually takes less than an hour and is conducted on a day procedure basis, allowing patients to return home the same day.

This advanced technique is applied to various anatomical sites, including the cervical, thoracic, lumbar medial branch, facet joints, sacroiliac joint lateral branches, genicular nerves of the knee, and the obturator and femoral nerves of the hip, tailored specifically to address the root cause of pain in these areas.

Radiofrequency Ablation Recovery

Recovery from Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) is notably swift and with minimal complications, reflecting its status as a minimally invasive procedure. Immediately following the procedure, patients may experience some soreness or discomfort at the injection site, which typically resolves within a few days. Ice packs and over-the-counter pain relievers are often sufficient to manage this discomfort.

Most patients can resume their normal activities within 24 to 72 hours post-procedure, although it is advised to avoid strenuous activities for the first few days. It’s important for patients to follow any personalised aftercare instructions provided by their healthcare provider, including guidance on when to resume exercise or return to work.

The full pain-relieving effects of RFA may take up to three weeks to manifest, as the treated nerves gradually cease to transmit pain signals. Patients are encouraged to keep a pain diary and monitor their symptoms over this period, reporting any significant changes to their doctor. Regular follow-up appointments are crucial to assess the effectiveness of the treatment and to plan any necessary future interventions.

Results from your Radiofrequency Ablation

Patients who undergo Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) for chronic pain management often experience significant and lasting relief. The effectiveness of RFA in reducing pain varies depending on the condition being treated and the individual’s specific health profile, but many report a noticeable improvement in their quality of life. For conditions such as chronic back pain, neck pain, knee pain, and hip pain, RFA has proven to be particularly beneficial.

The pain relief from RFA can last from six months to up to two years, and in some cases, even longer. This duration allows many patients to engage more fully in physical therapy and other rehabilitative measures, further enhancing their recovery and overall well-being. It’s also worth noting that RFA can be repeated if the pain begins to return, offering a sustainable option for long-term pain management.

Patients appreciate the minimally invasive nature of RFA, which significantly reduces the risks and recovery time associated with traditional surgery. As a result, RFA stands out as an effective treatment modality for those seeking to manage their chronic pain with minimal intervention.

Are you ready to take the first step towards a life free from chronic pain? Contact the Sydney Pain Clinic today to schedule your consultation. Our team of experts is ready to assess your condition and discuss whether Radiofrequency Ablation could be the right solution for you.

The content of this website is intended solely for general informational purposes. It should not be regarded as conclusive medical advice under any circumstances. We strongly advise consulting with top-tier pain management experts and medical professionals at Sydney Pain Clinic for any queries or concerns. A comprehensive assessment is essential for a precise diagnosis and treatment strategy. Remember to contact our pain management specialists and clinicians in Sydney to arrange a consultation.

18 Roslyn Street
Potts Point 2011 NSW

18 Roslyn Street
Potts Point 2011 NSW


18 Roslyn Street
Potts Point 2011 NSW