At ThriveMD, we actively work with our patients to find the best ways to minimize pain and maximize function allowing them to live active lifestyle at any age. Radiofrequency lesioning (RFL) is yet another service we offer our patients to meet the goal of reducing knee and spinal pain.
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What Is Radiofreqency Lesioning
Radiofrequency lesioning (RF or RFL) is also know as radiofrequency nerve ablation. RFL is a procedure that mitigates pain by temporarily destroying nerves responsible for the sensation of pain.
How Radiofrequency Lesioning Works
Many areas in the body, including the spine and knee, contain sensory nerves that are very active in certain pain conditions. These sensory nerves can be temporarily destroyed using a very precise thermal lesion delivered by a radiofrequency (RF) current though a special insulated needle. RF current is the safest form of delivering a heat lesion due to the fact that the lesion will remain the same size irregardless of the heating duration. Using real time X-ray guidance to define the location, a segment of the targeted nerve is cauterized with careful attention to avoid any nearby motor nerves or vascular structures. Once the sensory nerves have been taken out of commission there is often dramatic improvement in pain, and blood flow. In addition surrounding muscles begin to show improved function and loss of atrophy as the inhibitory pain sensations subside.
Who Is a Candidate for the RF Procedure
Knee Pain Patients
Three sensory nerves surrounding the knee are called the genicular nerves. They are located outside of the joint capsule adjacent to the distal femur and proximal tibia. A RF procedure to ablate the genicular nerves can be used in several scenarios. This procedure can be used in conjunction with a regenerative medicine knee injection such as a stem cell procedure to help diminish pain, improve blood flow and expedite healing. The radiofrequency procedure can also be employed as a standalone pain relief procedure for patients who have ongoing pain and do not want to undergo a major invasive surgery, such as a knee replacement. The procedure can also be an excellent means of providing postoperative relief in patients with ongoing pain despite having already undergone surgical repair. For examples of stem cell patients we have treated for knee or other joint pain, please go to our joint & soft tissue case studies.
Back Pain Patients
Radiofrequency is also employed for the treatment of spinal facet joint pain. It is often administered in conjunction with stem cell back injections. The nerves targeted for the facet procedure are called medial branch nerves. These nerves are located outside of the spinal canal and are easily accessed for radiofrequency lesioning utilizing live x-ray guidance. The destruction of these nerves allows for the rebuilding of the supportive muscles of the spine as well as profound pain relief. For examples of stem cell patients we have treated for back pain, please go to our back case studies.
The Radiofrequency Lesioning Procedure
At ThriveMD, this procedure is done as a minimally invasive outpatient procedure and is performed in under an hour. I have been providing radiofrequency procedures for 20+ years and my patients continue to benefit from this excellent treatment. Be sure to choose your RF physician carefully to avoid the potential risks and complications that inexperience may cause. RF treatments are a powerful compliment to the regenerative medicine procedures of the knee and spine as well as a standalone procedure for pain relief.
Cost of Radiofrequency Lesioning
ThriveMD is able to offer the RF procedure at a very reasonable price, as we utilize our own state-of-the-art in-office procedure suite. We are able to avoid the added costs associated with a large surgical facility and anesthesia services.