Radiofrequency Nerve Ablation in Arlington, VA

What is Radiofrequency Nerve Ablations?

Radiofrequency nerve ablations or RFA use heat to destroy tissue. For pain management, radio waves are sent through a precisely placed needle to heat an area of the nerve. This prevents pain signals from being sent back to your brain. The procedure is also known as rhizotomy.

Our interventional pain specialist, Dr. Timothy Herberg is highly trained in providing radiofrequency nerve ablation. Contact our orthopedic clinic in Arlington, VA by requesting an appointment online today.

When is Radiofrequency Nerve Ablations Used?

Radiofrequency ablation was first used in 1931 to treat a patient with trigeminal neuralgia and is now used to treat a variety of chronic pain conditions effectively.

RFA is considered for long-term pain conditions, especially of the neck, lower back, or arthritic joints that haven’t been successfully treated with other methods.

  • Back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Joint pain-most commonly at the knee
  • other pain syndromes

How is Radiofrequency Nerve Ablations Performed?

RFA is a minimally invasive procedure that does not require anesthesia. The procedure takes anywhere from 20-60 minutes.

  • You will have a pre-consult evaluation to discuss your pain and course of treatment
  • Dr. Herberg may discuss other options in addition to RFA
  • At the time of your RFA, Dr. Herberg will help you feel comfortable  
  • You may be prescribed a sedative to take prior to the appointment to relax you
  • The site is cleaned and numbed
  • Dr. Herberg will use fluoroscopic guidance (X-ray) to help guide him to the proper location
  • A special radiofrequency needle will be directed alongside the target nerve
  • A small amount of electrical current is passed through a probe in the needle to target the nerve
  • Nearby healthy nerves are not damaged during the procedure
  • You will need a ride home after the procedure
  • After the procedure, you may experience soreness in the targeted area for a few days
  • Ice can help relieve some discomfort

What are My Options for Radiofrequency Nerve Ablation?

There are two main types, including:

  • Radiofrequency thermo-coagulation -produces heat by current flow
  • Pulsed radiofrequency – performed in short pulses to reduce target temperature by allowing for cooling of tissues

There are benefits and uses for each type, and Dr. Herberg can help you decide which would work best for you.

Benefits of Radiofrequency Nerve Ablations

You may consider RFA to help:

  • Decrease your pain
  • Help to inhibit the transmission of pain messages to your brain
  • Promote healing
  • Improve the quality of life in patients with limited mobility
  • Treat inflammation
  • Reduce the number of pain medications taken
  • Avoid or delay surgery

The effectiveness of RFA may last from three to 12 months.

Schedule a Radiofrequency Nerve Ablation Consultation in Arlington, VA

Schedule a one-on-one consultation with our pain management specialist, Dr. Timothy Herberg to discuss RFA and your options for pain relief. Contact our orthopedic clinic in Arlington, VA by calling (703) 892-6500.