Sometimes pain from an accident or a medical procedure lingers far beyond the time usually required for healing and becomes chronic. Conditions such as failed back surgery syndrome, complex regional pain syndrome, and peripheral nerve entrapment are some of the causes of chronic pain that reduces the quality of life for victims. When this happens, a doctor may look at different options to control the pain. One of these is radio frequency ablation, or RFA.
What is Radio Frequency Ablation?
Radio frequency ablation uses fast-moving electric energy to create heat that can be precisely targeted to the nerves that are conducting the pain signals. The heat creates a tiny burn on the nerve that shuts down the signals that are causing the pain.
How is Radio Frequency Ablation Performed?
RFA is done as an outpatient procedure using a local anesthetic and sedation. An insulated tubular needle is inserted into the skin until it reaches the nerves involved. The local anesthetic is then injected to numb the area and the radio frequency generator is turned on to heat the tip of the needle for about 90 seconds, destroying the selected nerve.
How Long Does the Pain Relief Last Following Radio Frequency Ablation?
The procedure reduces pain significantly in most patients for six months to a year, and in some, it can last for several years.
What are the Possible Complications of RFA Therapy?
RFA has been shown to be both safe and effective. About seventy per cent of those who try it experience significant pain relief. There may be some soreness or bruising at the site, but it should disappear within a few days. Infection and bleeding are also possible, so people with active infections or bleeding problems should not undergo the procedure.
If you have experienced chronic pain as a result of an accident, you may have a claim to receive payment in compensation for the losses you’ve suffered (and will continue to suffer in the future). The best way to do this is to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who is familiar with this type of case.
If you have questions about your accident or your condition and would like answers, Jim Dodson has more than 25 years’ experience helping the injured and can provide those answers for you. Give our office a call at 888-207-0905.