Radio-Frequency Ablation Therapy

The Honolulu Pain Management Clinic LLC sometimes uses this procedure to treat severe chronic pain in the lower back.




Radio-Frequency Ablation Therapy  – Radio-frequency ablation (RFA) is a medical procedure in which dysfunctional tissue is removed (ablated) using the heat generated from medium frequency alternating current. RFA is used for back pain including facetogenic pain, cervical and lumbar pain due to sacroiliac (SI) dysfunction, and finally discogenic pain. Lumbar facet nerve ablation is perhaps the most common application of RFA. [1]  RFA is generally conducted in the outpatient setting, using either local anesthetics or conscious sedation anesthesia. Two important advantages of radio frequency current are that it does not directly stimulate nerves and therefore can often be used without the need for general anesthetic, and that it is very specific for treating the desired tissue without significant collateral damage. RFA procedures are performed under image guidance (such as X-ray screening, CT scan or ultrasound) by an interventional pain specialist such as an anesthesiologist. RFA is used to treat severe chronic pain in the lower back, where radio frequency waves are used to produce heat on specifically identified nerves surrounding the facet joints on either side of the spine. [2]