We often have many questions about Radiofrequency procedures in our Panama City FL office so I wrote this brief summary of the procedure and some things to look forward to. I have tried to make the information useful to all those who read this whether they are here in Panama City or elsewhere and whether or not they combine Chiropractic care with Radiofrequency.
Radio-frequency ablation (also known as medial branch rhizotomy) is a procedure to reduce severe or chronic pain. The procedure is performed by placing an electric current that produces radio waves near a nerve that is carrying pain signals from the joint to the spinal nerve. The radio waves heat a small area of nervous tissue, thereby reducing pain signals from the targeted area.
RFA is commonly used to relieve patients with low back / leg and neck / arm pain and pain associated with degradation of the joints of the spine from arthritis. These conditions must show positive responses to previous test blocks to determine if the treated tissues are the areas causing the pain before RFA can be used. The amount of pain relief can vary depending on the root cause and location of the pain source. The relief can last between six and 12 months and in some cases can last for years. More than 70% of patients treated with RFA receive pain relief according to several studies.
To prepare for treatment, you should ensure that you eat only clear liquids within six hours of your appointment until two hours before the procedure. If you have diabetes and use insulin, you will need to adjust the insulin dose the day of the procedure your primary care doctor can help. Bring your diabetes medication so you can take it after the procedure as well as any other medication you may need. Continue to take all other medications with water. Do not discontinue any medication (especially insulin) without first consulting your primary care or referral physician. You will need to bring someone with you to drive you home after the procedure and you should not drive or operate machinery for at least 24 hours after the procedure.
On the day of the procedure a doctor will explain the procedure in detail and answer any questions you may have, including complications and possible side effects. During the procedure the doctor will use a specialized X-ray device called C-Arm, this will help guide the doctor to the needle to the target area. Once the spot is established a micro-hydrode is inserted through the needle to begin the stimulation process. During this process the doctor will ask you at different times if you are able to feel certain sensations. The purpose of this is to help your doctor determine if the electrode is in the best place for treatment. After receiving the needle and the electrode arrangement, a small radio-frequency current is sent through the electrode into the surrounding tissue, causing the tissue to heat up. Patients should not feel any discomfort during the heating part of the procedure as we do not have heat sensors in this tissue.
After the procedure you will stay in the office or surgery center for observation, where a nurse will check your blood pressure and pulse. A bandage will be placed over your procedural site and you need to make sure you have someone to drive you home.
RFA has been clinically proven to be a safe and effective way to treat certain types of pain. It is also generally well accepted, with few complications. The entrance site has a small risk of infection and bleeding. Your doctor can advise you about your particular risk.
The main side effect of RFA is some discomfort with swelling and / or bruising, at the site of treatment, but this generally disappears after a few days and of course as with any medical procedure, RFA is not suitable for everyone. Your doctor may tell you that you should not have RFA.
After treatment with RFA you will continue with your doctor to monitor your progress and in cases where chiropractic care and physical therapy are available you will begin the rehabilitation process. This stage of your care is very important even if your pain has been eliminated because at this point the joint is fixed only by the blocked pain and if the joint problem is not addressed the likelihood of the pain and further increases. the joint damage. Chiropractic care is designed to improve overall joint function and the rehabilitation will get you exercises and stretching to improve function and muscle strength around those joints that will help stabilize the affected areas in the future.