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Radiofrequency Ablation/ Rhizotomy

SamWell Institute for Pain Management

Pain Management Specialist located in Colonia, NJ, Livingston, NJ & Englewood, NJ

Radiofrequency ablation/rhizotomy is a minimally invasive option that could help you if you have treatment-resistant chronic pain in your neck, back shoulder, or knees. If chronic pain is making your life miserable, experienced pain specialist Jay Shah, MD, of SamWell Institute for Pain Management in Colonia, Englewood and Livingston, New Jersey, can help. They can expertly deliver image-guided radiofrequency ablation/rhizotomy to treat chronic arthritis and nerve pain. Find out how you could benefit from his expertise by calling SamWell Institute for Pain Management or using the online booking tool today.

Radiofrequency Ablation/ Rhizotomy Q & A

What is radiofrequency ablation/rhizotomy?

Radiofrequency ablation/rhizotomy (also known as radiofrequency neurotomy) is a treatment for persistent, unresponsive neck, back, shoulder, or knee pain.

The technology uses radiofrequency energy waves to gently generate heat that targets specific nerves. Precise heating of these nerves to a certain temperature stops them from being able to send pain signals into that particular body region.

Dr. Shah inserts specialized radiofrequency needles into your skin at the treatment area to deliver the radiofrequency energy to the right nerves. He uses imaging technology to ensure the needles are in the correct and perfect position, and this procedure is typically performed under a combination of local anesthesia and light sedation.

Why would I need radiofrequency ablation/rhizotomy?

You might need radiofrequency ablation/rhizotomy if you have chronic pain in your:

  • Back
  • Neck
  • Sacroiliac joint
  • Knee
  • Hip
  • Shoulder
  • Headaches
  • Facial pain
  • Pelvic Pain

Many patients with chronic pain improve with conservative treatments such as medications, physical therapy, and injections. However, you might find your pain is continuing despite following a targeted treatment plan.

Radiofrequency ablation/rhizotomy is most effective for chronic pain that:

  • Affects one or both sides of your cervical (neck) or lumbar (lower) spine
  • Spreads from your neck to your shoulders/upperback (with possible headaches)
  • Radiates from your low back to your your hips, buttocks or thighs (but no farther)
  • Feels worse when you’re lifting
  • Feels worse if you twist your spine
  • Feels better if you lie down
  • Fells worse when you extend your neck or back 

Radiofrequency ablation/rhizotomy can be helpful as a treatment for chronic post-whiplash neck pain. Knee and hip pain from arthritis can also benefit from radiofrequency ablation/rhizotomy.

Am I a good candidate for radiofrequency ablation/rhizotomy?

To determine whether you’re a good candidate for radiofrequency ablation/rhizotomy, Dr. Shah can perform a diagnostic nerve block procedure.

For example, a genicular nerve block targets the nerves in your knee that transmit pain signals to your brain. If the anesthetic in the nerve block significantly reduces the pain you feel, radiofrequency ablation/rhizotomy is likely to be an effective long term treatment.

How long do the results of radiofrequency ablation/rhizotomy last?

Radiofrequency ablation/rhizotomy doesn’t cure chronic neck, back, or joint pain, but it can give you extended periods of relief.

Multiple studies have shown that radiofrequency ablation/rhizotomy can provide relief of pain for 6 months up to 2 years.  

Crucial to successful radiofrequency ablation/rhizotomy is having an experienced physician like Dr. Shah. He has the expertise needed to locate the nerves that are causing your pain and deliver the treatment accurately and safely.

It’s important to discuss the potential risks and benefits with Dr. Shah in detail before undergoing radiofrequency ablation/rhizotomy.

Find out more by calling SamWell Institute for Pain Management today, or book your appointment online.