Radiofrequency Ablation (RF)
The purpose of this procedure is to use radio waves to produce heat directed at specific facet joint nerves in order to destroy the nerve and relieve pain. The procedure can be scheduled only after the patient has had 2 successful medial branch blocks to ensure the correct nerve has been targeted.
What to expect
~You must be NPO (without solid food or drink) from 10pm the night before your procedure.
~Please arrive 30 minutes prior to your scheduled injection time. You will be asked to undress into a gown. The nurse will take a brief health history and have you sign paperwork necessary to proceed with the procedure. PLEASE BRING AN UP TO DATE MEDICATION LIST in order to expedite your check-in process.
~In consideration of other patients, please refrain from wearing perfume, cologne, or lotion.
~An IV will be started so we can administer light sedation during the procedure.
~If you have a family member or friend with you, they are welcome to stay with you. Unfortunately, we do not allow small children in the pre or post op area.
~The doctor performing the injection will be in to discuss the procedure prior to your injection.
~You will be transported into the procedure room and positioned on the table. Your skin will be cleaned with sterile soap and draped in a sterile fashion. The skin over the target injection site will be anesthetized with a local anesthetic. Fluoroscopy is then used to guide the needle into the proper position. Medication is then slowly injected through the needle that has been placed.
~The procedure itself takes approximately 45-60 minutes and once completed, you will be transported back to the pre-op/recovery area.
~The nurse will take your vital signs and offer you a snack and drink. Your recovery time stay will be approximately 30 minutes.
~Post injection instructions will be reviewed and you will go home with a copy. We ask that you schedule your follow up appointment with your ordering provider in 4-6 weeks after the procedure.
Every medical procedure, no matter how minor, contains some risks. Anytime a needle is placed into the body, there is a risk of tissue injury, infection and bleeding. If this occurs near the spine, it can result in nerve damage. Although extremely rare, nerve damage and death have occurred following spine injections. Injections near the spine also risk puncturing the dura and can result in headaches, which can easily be treated. More common risks include a temporary increase in pain, local tenderness after the injection, allergic reactions to the medications and side effects from the steroids.