FACET RADIOFREQUENCY ABLATION

FACET RADIOFREQUENCY ABLATION JUPITER

Anyone needing treatment for mechanical low back and neck pain due to joint inflammation can experience long-term relief from a facet radiofrequency ablation Jupiter or RFA treatment. At Certified Spine & Pain Care, our goal when administering facet radiofrequency ablation is to provide joint-mediated pain relief that lasts longer than the relief provided by regular steroid injections. Research shows that steroid injections provide brief periods of relief, once joints have been identified as the precise and primary source of pain. Radiofrequency is an effective treatment in the spine for sacroiliac joint pain and facet joint pain.

Sacroiliac (SI) Joints

There are two sacroiliac joints, and they connect the sacrum and pelvis. They are strong and mobile weight-bearing joints on each side of the sacrum, and they are reinforced by strong surrounding ligaments. When pain is felt on one side of the lower back to the left or ride of midline, where the SI is located, it is caused by inflammation of the sacroiliac joint, also called sacroiliitis. If dysfunction in the SI joint is severe, pain can be referred to the buttocks, groin, or hip or down the back of the thigh. Certain movements that stress the SI joint often worsen the pain, such as walking up an incline, sitting or walking for a prolonged period, standing from a seated position, rolling or twisting in bed at night, or elliptical exercise.

Facet Joints

In the posterior column of each vertebral segment, there are two small facet joints that provide the spine with flexibility and stability. When one or more of these joints become irritated or inflamed, facet syndrome occurs. Patients who suffer from facet syndrome frequently report increased back pain with prolonged periods of inactivity, such as standing or sitting too long, and with extension. The pain is often improved by changing positions.

RFA Procedure

Thermal denervation is applied to interrupt the sensory nerve supply to the involved joint, in a radiofrequency procedure. Patients are under local anesthesia with light interavenous sedation during the procedure. Dr. Edwin Maldonado of Certified Spine & Pain Care uses fluoroscopic (x-ray) guidance, in order to precisely place special radiofrequency needles in the proximity of the nerves that supply the inflamed joint. A heat lesion is generated to deaden the nerve, after testing has been completed to ensure that the needle is correctly positioned.

It generally takes approximately 30 minutes to complete a facet radiofrequency ablation Jupiter procedure, which is an outpatient procedure. After intravenous sedation, additional time is required for observation. Patients can expect relief from symptoms from six months to a year or longer. The procedure can be repeated within six months to a year, as needed, as well. For many years, radiofrequency ablation has been safely performed, with excellent results. For one or two days immediately after the procedure, you may experience a sore neck or back. On the day of the procedure, it’s recommended that you rest easy; but the following day, you can expect to return to your usual activities. The benefit from the RFA procedure usually occurs within two weeks.

If you are experiencing chronic pain, Edwin W. Maldonado, MD of Certified Spine & Pain Care Clinics is the doctor to turn to. Visit or call one of his four locations in JupiterWellingtonDelray Beach and Margate.

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