Radiofrequency ablation

Thermal ablation treatment

HCA UK’s experts provide radiofrequency ablation to treat certain neurological conditions.

About

Radiofrequency ablation uses electricity to produce heat, or thermal energy, to numb any nerves carrying signals from a painful part of the body.

Need to know

  • What happens icon plus

    Radiofrequency ablation can be effective for clients who are experiencing conditions such as facet joint pain, in the neck, shoulders and arms, or sacroiliac pain, near the hips.

    This treatment is carried out with local anaesthetic and a mild sedative. You will lie on an X-ray table, and your consultant will use a fluoroscope, or small X-ray, to direct a slim needle into the painful area. You are unlikely to feel any pain during the procedure, although you may feel some pressure. A needle connected to a radiofrequency generator will remove the nerve responsible for the pain, creating a small burn in the nerve tissue.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    Before the treatment, your consultant will explain the procedure and answer any questions you might have. You will need to discuss your medical history, as well as previous surgeries or medications you are taking. You may also have an X-ray and a CT scan, to guide the HCA UK team through the treatment.
  • Afterwards icon plus

    You may be able to leave the facility soon after the procedure has taken place, although you may need someone to drive you home.

    Your consultant will be able to advise you on how to manage your recovery and when you can get back to your usual daily routines, which is likely to be within a few days. You may experience some pain following the procedure, due to residual spasms from muscles and the site of the nerve ablation. Your healthcare team will discuss how to manage any discomfort, as well as advising any painkilling medication you may need.

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This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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