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Radiofrequency Ablation

Learn about the different pain relief solutions we offer, such as Radiofrequency Ablation.

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What is Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) ?

RFA is a minimally invasive, non-surgical, outpatient procedure that targets the nerve or nerves causing your pain and uses thermal energy to interrupt the pain signals at their source.

With a quick, simple procedure, RFA can provide months – sometimes even years – of pain relief. It tends to be well-tolerated and has few associated complications. The procedure can be repeated if the pain returns when the nerves regenerate.

Minimally invasive1,2,3

RFA is an outpatient procedure carried out under local anesthetic. Most people can return to their normal activities within 24 hours.

Proven outcomes1,2,3

More than 70% of patients treated with RFA experience relief lasting anywhere from six to twelve months – and in some cases, years.


RFA can be used to treat a wide variety of pain indications from arthritic joint pain in the hip and knee to neuropathic pain in the back and neck.

How does RFA work?

Target the Nerve

X-ray or ultrasound imaging helps guide a special probe to the target nerve. Electrodes stimulate nerves near the area to help determine the optimal treatment locations.

Disable the Nerve

The electrodes then send a small radiofrequency current into the surrounding tissue. This heats the tissue and disables the nerve so it stops sending pain signals.

Repeat for Multiple Pain Areas

Generally, one to four nerves are targeted in one procedure to maximise pain relief.

Recovery Time

After the procedure, you may experience a few days of discomfort around the procedure site(s). Doctors generally advise not to engage in any strenuous activity for at least 24 hours after treatment, but your doctor will give you complete post procedure advices.
Over the next few weeks, your pain should subside, allowing you to return to the activities you enjoyed before the onset of your chronic pain.

Who is RFA for?

If you suffer from chronic pain, RFA may be the right option for you. RFA can be considered for those who’s pain has not been improved by medication or physical therapy and who may not be candidates for surgical treatment.

Radiofrequency Ablation can be used to treat pain (often arthritic joint pain) in a number of different areas of the body including the back, neck, hips, knees and shoulders.

The amount of pain relief can vary from person to person, but relief can last anywhere from six to twelve months – and in some case years.

Get the answers you need

Whether you are considering SCS or RFA or are in the process of getting it, here you will find the answers about the whole journey.

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1 Dreyfuss P, et al. Efficacy and Validity of Radiofrequency Neurotomy for Chronic Lumbar Zygapophysial Joint Pain. Spine 2000.
Gofeld M, et al. Radiofrequency Denervation of the Lumbar Zygapophysial Joints—Targeting the Best Practice Authors. Pain Physician 2007; 10:291-299.
Govind J, et al. Radiofrequency neurotomy for the treatment of third occipital headache. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, Psychiatry 2003; 88-93.
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