Radiofrequency Ablation for Arthritis Pain: Does It Work?

A lot of people live with joint pain. For some, this pain results from arthritis and tends to persist. Many adults have serious joint pain. As the bone and cartilage wears away, a person can suffer from pain, inflammation, and stiffness. Chronic pain treatment is an ongoing challenge for medical providers. These days, those who have arthritis can explore surgical and non-surgical treatment options. 

If you have tried all sorts of pain management solutions but failed to get the relief you need from arthritis pain, you may be feeling defeated. Thankfully, a procedure available at houston performance pain and sports medicine called radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is now available to help treat some types of osteoarthritis. This minimally invasive procedure makes use of heat to ablate the nerve fibers that transmit pain. As a result, the brain cannot tell that your knee is in pain, leading to less pain. 

What to Know About RFA

RFA makes use of heat to stop joint pain. It offers long-lasting relief for those who have arthritis pain. It is a preferred procedure for people who do not want to undergo surgery or take strong medication for arthritis. 

The procedure lasts for an hour. The patient is given anesthesia and undergoes fluoroscopy. Then, a needle is placed near the nerve that causes the pain, allowing a current to pass through and applying heat to the nerve. Some studies show that the procedure is more effective than other treatment options such as steroid injections. 

RFA does not treat joint damage due to arthritis. Rather, it treats arthritic joint pain. It treats conditions that affect joints such as the knee and spinal joints. It works by dulling the joint pain by applying heat on the pain-causing nerve. Because the method only lasts for almost six months, the targeted nerve can grow back. 

How Effective is RFA?

The degree of relief a person feels from the procedure depends on what causes the pain and where the pain is felt. According to some researchers, more than 60 percent of patients claim that the procedure is effective. Often, pain relief from the procedure occurs within ten days and can last for six to twelve months. Sometimes, pain relief may last for several years. 

If other pain management options like pain medication and therapy do not relieve the pain you experience because of arthritis, consider RFA. Speak with your doctor to know more about this procedure and determine if it is right for you.