Radio Ablation For Chronic Pain - EP 8

Premier Pain Talk

May 17 2022 • 12 mins

Radio Ablation For Chronic Pain

Today on Premier Pain Talk , Dr. Danko is talking about a very common procedure in interventional pain management called radio frequency ablation. There are many conditions that can be effectively treated with it including arthritic joints and nerve pain from various sources. Tune in to hear how it works and the purpose it serves for many!

Episode Highlights:

  • Radiofrequency ablation in layman’s terms is sometimes referred to as ‘burning the nerves’; other terms it goes by are rhizotomy and radiofrequency neurotomy.
  • Dr. Danko explains how a radiofrequency ablation uses the word radio in it because it uses radio waves to create a current that heats a small area of nerve tissue.
  • There are a wide range of conditions that can be treated with radiofrequency ablation and is a pretty common procedure; It can be used outside of interventional pain management in oncology, vascular treatments, and others.
  • In terms of pain management, the spine is the most common area treated but it can also be used for joints or other nerves that are causing pain.
  • Arthritic facet joints at the base of the back and facet joints in the neck and thoracic spine are common ailment points in need of treatment. Dr. Danko explains what symptoms may occur.
  • Sacroiliac joints have high innervation, meaning there is a high supply of nerve to them   and pain may be experienced trying to get in or out of a car or chair, laying on the affected side.
  • What about arthritic joints? When may you need radiofrequency treatment?
  • There are other conditions that cause nerve pain that can be treated with radiofrequency treatments. Not all conditions qualify but it is important to talk with you pain physician to decide whether it could be effective for your situation.
  • How do you determine if you are an appropriate candidate for radiofrequency treatment?
  • What are the precursors to radiofrequency treatments?
  • For those who don’t respond to these treatments there are other treatment options that can be considered based on further evaluation.
  • This is a safe procedure to do in an outpatient facility and often without any sedation or light sedation.
  • The procedure from start to finish is around 30 minutes give or take depending on the area with the ablation itself only taking 90 seconds or two 90 second intervals.
  • The Premier Pain Institute has offices in Mt. Orb, Ohio, Loveland, Ohio, and Hillsboro, Ohio. You can find more information on this procedure at

3 Key Points:

  1. Radiofrequency ablation or RFA is a common procedure in interventional pain management that uses radio waves to create a current that heats a small area of nerve tissue.
  2. If you’re trying to delay a total joint replacement, radiofrequency treatments may be a viable option; It is not commonly known that if you continue to have pain after a joint replacement, this can be effective as well.
  3. How do you know if you are a good candidate for radiofrequency treatments for your pain? Dr. Danko explains the conditions and indicating factors.

Resources Mentioned: