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Ablations

Radiofrequency Ablation for Chronic Pain Q&A

Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that destroys the nerve fibers carrying pain signals to the brain. Visit Specialty Medical Center to get comprehensive and specialized care. For more information, contact us today or schedule an appointment online. We have convenient locations to serve you in Sterling Heights, MI and Dearborn, MI.

Radiofrequency Ablation for Chronic Pain Near Me in Sterling Heights, MI and Dearborn, MI
Radiofrequency Ablation for Chronic Pain Near Me in Sterling Heights, MI and Dearborn, MI

Table of Contents:

What is radiofrequency ablation (RFA), and how does it work for chronic pain?
What should I expect during the radiofrequency ablation procedure?
How many treatments are usually required for optimal pain relief with radiofrequency ablation?
Is radiofrequency ablation covered by insurance for chronic pain management?
Can radiofrequency ablation be used as a long-term solution for chronic pain management?

What is radiofrequency ablation (RFA), and how does it work for chronic pain?


Radiofrequency ablation is used to reduce chronic pain, particularly in the lower back, neck, and other joints affected by arthritis. In this procedure, radiofrequency energy is harnessed to disrupt nerve function, which effectively decreases pain signals sent to the brain. As the effects of RFA can last from nine months to several years, this approach has become a valuable tool for patients seeking a minimally invasive option to address chronic pain.

What should I expect during the radiofrequency ablation procedure?


When preparing for your RFA appointment, there are a few things to keep in mind. During your consultation, the specialist will perform a physical examination and a review of your medical history. You may be advised to stop taking certain medications, such as blood thinners, several days before the procedure. In addition, you should arrange for someone to drive you home afterward, as the sedatives used during the procedure will impair your ability to drive.

The RFA procedure is performed in an outpatient setting. You will receive local anesthesia to numb the treatment area, which helps minimize discomfort, as well as mild sedation to help you relax.

Using fluoroscopy, the doctor precisely locates the nerves responsible for transmitting pain signals. A thin, hollow needle is inserted through your skin to the targeted nerves. Once the needle is in place, a numbing medication is administered. Next, a radiofrequency current is passed through the needle to destroy painful nerves. This portion of the process usually takes 90 seconds per site.

Most patients recover from the treatment quite quickly, being able to return to work and other regular activities within 24 to 72 hours afterwards. Typically, pain relief from RFA is noticeable within 10 days of the procedure; however, the relief may also be immediate or take several weeks to become apparent.

How many treatments are usually required for optimal pain relief with radiofrequency ablation?


To achieve comprehensive pain management, your RFA treatment will be tailored with your unique needs in mind. In most cases, this treatment provides significant improvements after just one session. Typically, the benefits of RFA last for over nine months, and if needed, the procedure can be repeated every six months to one year.

During your consultation session, the specialist will create a personalized treatment plan that will outline how many nerves are being treated and how many treatment sessions are recommended. Depending on how long the benefits of RFA treatment last, you can come back to see the specialist for additional sessions. For some people, radiofrequency ablation is a long-term pain management option.

Is radiofrequency ablation covered by insurance for chronic pain management?


Many health insurance plans provide coverage for radiofrequency ablation treatment, especially if it is deemed necessary for pain management. However, every plan is different, so it’s best to contact your insurance representative directly to understand the specifics of your coverage and how much your out-of-pocket expense will be.

At Specialty Medical Center, we are in-network with many insurance plans, such as Wellcare, Meridian, Medicaid, Medicare, Priority Health, McLaren, and TriCare, among several others. If you have any questions regarding insurance, our friendly team is here to provide support.

Can radiofrequency ablation be used as a long-term solution for chronic pain management?


Yes, radiofrequency ablation can be an effective long-term solution for managing chronic pain, especially for patients who have not found relief from other treatment options, such as medication and physical therapy. Because the procedure is minimally invasive and has a relatively low risk of complications, it is a practical option for many. Moreover, RFA does not involve long-term medication use, which is beneficial for those concerned about the side effects of chronic pain medications.

If you are living with chronic pain and first-line treatment options do not offer substantial relief, radiofrequency ablation could be the right management option for you. To learn more about this approach and whether you are a good candidate, schedule a consultation session with one of the dedicated professionals at Specialty Medical Center. We serve patients from Sterling Heights MI, Dearborn MI, Detroit MI, Birmingham MI, Allen Park MI, Warren MI, and BEYOND!

Specialty Medical Center in Michigan

Dearborn, MI

Sterling Heights, MI

  • 5456 15 Mile Rd #101, Sterling Heights, MI 48310
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