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RADIOFREQUENCY NERVE ABLATION

Back pain problems?

Back pain is one of the most common conditions for which men and women seek treatment in the U.S. At the Loop Medical Center, Dr. Elbaridi relieves the back pain of the men and women of Chicago, and the surrounding Illinois region with radiofrequency ablation. If you’d like to learn more about this effective pain relief method, schedule an appointment by using the online form or calling our office.

What is Radiofrequency Ablation?

Radiofrequency nerve ablation, also called Rhizotomy,  is a minimally invasive, nonsurgical treatment for pain caused by chronic low-back and neck pain, as well as pain related to arthritis. By heating affected nerves, sometimes while cooling them at the same time, this treatment is able to disturb their ability to send pain signals to the brain. Doing so helps to alleviate pain for 6-12 months.

These procedures are available for individuals who have found prior relief from nerve blocks and are available for any nerve that is causing pain, including the Vertebrobasilar nerve. Benefits of this treatment include immediate relief, minimal recovery time, avoidance of more invasive procedures, and improvement in daily functions.

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TREATMENTS

Traditional, thermal radiofrequency ablation (RFA), is used to treat chronic pain in various regions of the body, arthritis of the spine (spondylosis), and inflammation of the sacroiliac joint. During this procedure, needles are inserted into the affected area under fluoroscopic guidance.

Once in place, radiofrequency currents are sent through the needles, thereby disrupting the affected nerve’s ability to send pain signals to the brain. Some individuals may experience slight pain after the procedure but most experience relief within 10 days. Relief may last from 6 months to 2 years following thermal RFA! This treatment is only considered following a successful, diagnostic nerve block in the affected area.

Cooled radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is very similar to thermal RFA, except that the nerves remain cool while radiofrequency is applied to the region. This treatment is used to alleviate symptoms of chronic pain in various regions of the body, arthritis of the spine (spondylosis), and inflammation of the sacroiliac joint. During this procedure, needles are inserted into the affected area under fluoroscopic guidance.

Once in place, water will begin running through the tips of the needles, keeping the region cool, as radiofrequency currents are applied to the affected nerve. These currents affect the diseased nerve, disrupting its ability to send pain signals to the brain. Since the area remains cool, this procedure is able to affect a larger area than is possible through thermal RFA. This treatment is only considered following a successful, diagnostic nerve block in the affected area.

Individuals with low back pain and vertebrogenic pain, due to the endplates of spinal vertebrae, may respond well to vertebrobasilar nerve ablations. The vertebrobasilar nerve is located within the bone and allows for sensation along the endplates. When the bone is injured, more nerve endings generate within the damaged region, causing chronic lower back pain.

To treat this condition, patients can undergo vertebrobasilar nerve ablation. This treatment is a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure that is very similar to thermal RFA, except that the targeted nerve is located within the bone of the vertebral body. During this procedure, needles are inserted into the affected area under fluoroscopic guidance.

Once in place, radiofrequency currents are sent through the needles, thereby disrupting the affected nerve’s ability to send pain signals to the brain.

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