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    Radiofrequency Lesioning (Thermoablation)

     Where To Seek Treatment


    Singapore General Hospital
    Contributed by Singapore General Hospital


    What is radiofrequency lesioning?

    Radiofrequency lesioning is a procedure that uses a radiofrequency current to produce heat to disrupt nerves that carry pain signals to the brain. More than one area may need to be treated to achieve optimal pain relief.


    When is radiofrequency lesioning performed?

    Radiofrequency lesioning is usually performed after you have good response to a nerve block procedure. For example, if you have significant pain relief after a facet joint injection, your pain specialist may recommend that you undergo a radiofrequency lesioning procedure. This procedure may give you a longer duration of pain relief.

    What are some painful conditions that may be treated with radiofrequency lesioning?

    Common painful conditions that may respond to radiofrequency lesioning include:

    • Facet joint pain of the spine (neck or back)
    • Sacroiliac joint pain
    • Facial pain (e.g. trigeminal neuralgia)

    Discuss with your pain specialist whether radiofrequency lesioning is a viable option for your pain condition. He or she will be able to advise you.

    How long does pain relief last after radiofrequency lesioning?

    Pain relief usually lasts for 3-24 months. Results may vary depending on the individual. It should provide you the pain relief you need to resume your daily activities.

    Your body may regenerate the nerves responsible for sending pain signals to your brain. If this occurs, radiofrequency lesioning treatment can be performed again.

    Is the procedure painful?

    This procedure is not particularly painful. A local anaesthetic is used to numb the skin before the radiofrequency needle is inserted. Your pain specialist may also give you a sedative to reduce discomfort during the treatment. The procedure takes approximately 30-45 minutes.

    Is there pain after the radiofrequency lesioning?

    You may experience some discomfort at the site of injection on the first 1-2 days after the procedure. Painkillers can be prescribed for you during this short period of time. The discomfort usually subsides after 3 days.

    Need indepth information ?

    Access our Conditions & Treatments sections for related topics on Facet Joint Syndrome and Treatment, Low Back Pain, Neck Pain, Sacroiliac Joint Pain and Treatment and Trigeminal Neuralgia (Facial Pain).

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