This is a minimally invasive, therapeutic procedure which deactivates nerves or small sensory nerves that supply joints or other structures, to allow pain relief for a period of time. There are two types of radiofrequency therapy:
Thermal Denervation Radiofrequency involves radiofrequency energy to heat and deactivate the pain nerve.
Pulsed Radiofrequency 'resets' the function of overactive nerve membranes associated with Chronic Pain conditions.
The treatment is undertaken as a daycase procedure, under Xray control. Most patients elect to have intravenous sedation.
A fine, insulted needle locates the target nerve which is then confirmed with nerve stimulation. The treatment usually follows a diagnostic nerve block to confirm short term benfit.
Examples of radiofrequency treatment include facet joint nerve denervation for chronic neck and lumbar spinal pain; sympathetic nerve denervation for ischaemic and autonomic limb dysfunction and pulsed radiofrequency therapy for peripheral and spinal neuropathic pain.