Radiofrequency Ablation For Cervical Spine Pain
Category: Neck Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi
Neck pain is one of the most common problems we see in our office, because not only are our necks delicate, but they are often overstressed if we have poor posture or less than ideal body mechanics. If you’re leaning forward at your work desk, hunched over your phone all day or aren’t using the headrest in your car when driving, you’re going to feel it in your cervical spine.
The good news is that although the cervical spine is delicate, it is also strong and oftentimes responds well to conservative care treatment. Depending on your condition, physical therapy sessions, strength training exercises or stretching techniques can all help to reduce pain and prevent future issues.
When conservative care doesn’t address the issue, we sometimes turn to surgery as a last resort. One of the operations that is sometimes used for certain types of cervical spine pain is called radiofrequency ablation. It’s an interesting procedure that often yields great results. Here’s a closer look at radiofrequency ablation for neck pain.
How Does Radiofrequency Ablation Work?
Radiofrequency ablation works by creating an electrical current that is produced by a radio wave to heat up a very small area. This localized heat is then applied to the area that is causing pain. Oftentimes this area is a problematic nerve, and this heat damages or kills the nerve so that it can no longer relay pain signals to the brain.
One of the many benefits of radiofrequency ablation is that it is performed on a minimally invasive basis. Only a couple small incisions need to be made, and, with the assistance of a micro-camera, the surgeon can view the offending nerve and stop it from causing you pain. Not only does this lead to less scarring, but there’s also a reduced likelihood of complications and recovery time is often much quicker than the open operation.
The procedure does have a couple of small drawbacks in that it’s possible for the surgeon to address the wrong nerve or damage another soft tissue in the area, but this can be controlled for by choosing a skilled spine surgeon. Another drawback is that it only can treat certain types of spine pain, so if your root cause of neck pain comes from a joint or muscle issue, radiofrequency ablation may not be the right solution for you. If that’s the case, we’ll be happy to walk you through your other treatment options to help find a solution that’s right for you.
Radiofrequency Success Rate
Radiofrequency ablation has a pretty high success rate, with more than 70 percent of patients experiencing pain relief. It’s considered a very low risk, high reward procedure, so if you’ve continued to find difficulty getting relief from your cervical spine pain, reach out to Dr. Sinicropi’s office to see what we can do for you. You don’t need to live with lingering pain, contact our expert team of spine specialists today for more information.