Easing the pain

Written by: Dr. José María Hernández García
Published: | Updated: 17/11/2018
Edited by: Top Doctors®

Radiofrequency ablation, also called rhizolysis, is a procedure used to provide a more lasting pain relief than occurs with nerve blocks.


What is radiofrequency?

backache Most patients who are to undergo radiofrequency already undergone a lock previously as facet joint injection or posterior median nerve facet joint, anesthetic blockade of the sympathetic nerve, or other nerve blocks, with little lasting relief from pain.

To produce an injury to the nerves that transmit pain signals, structure or cause of pain may be denervated and reduced or eliminated with a variable duration, but usually for several months pain.


What is radiofrequency?

RF is the use of electromagnetic waves to a very high frequency (25000 Hz) at certain points, usually along certain nerves, to produce a thermal energy or injury, altering the nerve and allows pain relief. This occurs by a dedicated generator.


RF types:

  • CONVENTIONAL RF: a temperature of 80 ° is applied for 90 seconds by the nerve.
  • Pulsed radiofrequency: based on the repeated use of radiofrequency pulses, without exceeding the temperature of 42 ° applied to a nerve.


RF applications

RF can be applied to a multitude of chronic pain conditions and in other specialties such as orthopedic surgery, general surgery and otolaryngology.

It can be effective, for example, chronic back pain, including lumbar or cervical spondylosis, post-traumatic pain (whiplash syndrome), pain after spinal surgery and other painful conditions of the spine vertebral.

Other conditions known to respond well to include some pathologies RF neuropathic pain, such as complex regional pain syndrome (also called-reflecting sympathetic dystrophy), trigeminal neuralgia and cluster headache or entrapment syndromes of peripheral nerves.


Risks of radiofrequency

There is a very rare risk of infection or bleeding in the treated area. It is therefore normally performed in an operating room with suitable means of control sterility and patient vital signs.

There is also the possibility of nerve damage, even in the hands of an experienced specialist Pain Unit this is very rare. The patient, however, they may be sore for a few days after treatment, which can be up to 1 week before experiencing improvement, which in some cases may take 3-4 weeks.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

By Dr. José María Hernández García
Pain Medicine

Dr. Hernández García is a leading specialist in pain unit. He is an expert in the treatment of radiofrequency in spinal cord stimulation, and transcranial stimulation epidurolysis. He has trained in University Hospitals of Harvard, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Beth Israel Medical Center in Boston. There have been various publications and communications.


*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

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