If you’re tired of struggling through the day with chronic pain, you need to learn about radiofrequency ablation, a minimally invasive procedure that delivers long-lasting pain relief. At Donya Pain Management in El Paso, Texas, Ali Ibrahim, MD, has extensive experience helping patients get the pain relief they need. While he often treats knees, shoulders, and the lower back, radiofrequency ablation can target many causes of pain. To schedule an appointment, call the office or request an appointment online today.
Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that uses radiofrequency energy to stop pain signals from traveling through a nerve. The heat from the radio waves creates a wound on the nerve. The wound blocks pain messages from reaching your brain, and you stop feeling the pain.
Dr. Ibrahim may recommend this procedure when your pain doesn’t improve with other conventional medical treatments. He uses a needle-like probe to deliver the energy, allowing him to precisely target the specific nerve transmitting pain signals.
The precision of radiofrequency ablation allows Dr. Ibrahim to treat pain arising from many different causes and body areas. However, he most often uses this procedure to treat chronic knee, shoulder, neck, and lower back pain.
Many people find that they get such significant and long-lasting pain relief they can stop taking opioids or other pain medications and avoid or postpone surgery.
Before performing radiofrequency ablation, Dr. Ibrahim does a diagnostic nerve block. During a nerve block, he injects a local anesthetic into the nerve. If the anesthetic relieves your pain, it verifies that radiofrequency ablation will work.
Most patients take a sedative and get a topical anesthetic at the injection site. That combination helps you stay relaxed, comfortable, and pain-free during the procedure.
Dr. Ibrahim uses fluoroscopy, a type of real-time X-ray imaging, to visualize the tissues and guide a hollow needle to the nerve. The needle holds a radiofrequency probe that sends the energy into the nerve.
Most patients rest for a few days before returning to their usual activities. However, you should take it easy and slow down if your pain worsens. If you haven’t been active due to chronic pain, Dr. Ibrahim may recommend physical therapy to help you recover and regain strength and rebuild your tolerance for activity.
It takes about 1-3 weeks to get optimal pain relief after your ablation. The nerve gradually regenerates and heals, but that takes time. As a result, most people have pain relief for 6-24 months.
If you’re ready to get long-lasting pain relief, call Donya Pain Management or book online today to learn if you’re a good candidate for radiofrequency ablation.