Radiofrequency Ablation – Procedure and Recovery

Radiofrequency ablation(RFA) is used to cure chronic pain caused by pain-carrying nerve fibers. It is also called ad rhizotomy and works by destroying or burning the nerve, which carries pain signals to the brain.

The method is used to treat pain caused in the back, especially in the lower back, knee, shoulder, and arthritis joint pain. The method is preferable for people with chronic pain who want to avoid surgery and receive immediate and long-term pain relief without consuming various over-the-counter medications. Radiofrequency ablation is 70-80 percent effective in providing pain relief. 

Consultation with your doctor is a necessary step to know if you are a candidate for radiofrequency ablation or not. Therefore, choose your doctor correctly. Various Radiofrequency ablation in Naples, provides you with a multidisciplinary approach throughout the procedure, solves your concerns, and offers a recovery approach according to your needs. 


Your doctor will first do an assessment involving physical examination, looking at your medical history, medications you take, and using techniques like fluoroscopic X-ray to know the site of the nerve to be ablated. Avoid taking any blood-thinning medicine like aspirin a few days before the procedure. The treatment can take up to 30 to 40 minutes to complete. 

  • First, the doctor may inject or diagnose you with a nerve or pain receptor block injection. If this injection reduces the pain, then the doctor may follow up with radiofrequency ablation.  
  • The patient is made to lie on the procedure table. Then the doctor may inject you with sedation medicine (local anesthesia) at the treatment area to minimize your discomfort. You are kept awake so you can describe the sensation and pain to the doctor during the procedure. 
  • Then, a thin, hollow needle is inserted at the affected area of nerves with the help of a fluoroscope device. This may cause mild discomfort. 
  • Numbing medication is used after the needle is rightfully placed. Then a small radiofrequency current that will burn the nerve is sent through the needle to create a lesion. This damage to the nerve disrupts the pain-carrying signals. 
  • The burning of a nerve at the site can take 90 seconds each. 


You are kept in a recovery room where your signs are monitored for about 20 minutes to 1 hour until the sedation fades away. You can go home after the recovery and rest. Use an ice pack to treat numbness. 

The patient may experience pain for 1 to 2 weeks depending upon the degree of pain severity. You may experience mild muscle spasms for a few days. 

Pain relief can be immediate or received after 2 to 3 weeks. After a few weeks, the pain relief lasts up to 6 months to 2 years as some nerves grow back again. You may need to reschedule another RFA treatment.