Is Radiofrequency Ablation a Good Option for Persistent Sciatica?

Is Radiofrequency Ablation a Good Option for Persistent Sciatica?

Low back pain, leg pain, numbness, and tingling are all symptoms of sciatica. This nerve problem affects many people worldwide.

Sciatica may be hard to treat, especially if it's chronic and continues after conservative treatments like physical therapy and spinal injections.

If your pain continues despite trying other therapies, Dr. Shachi Patel and the team at Delmarva Pain and Spine Center may recommend radiofrequency ablation as the next step in treatment.

Dr. Patel is a pain management specialist and an anesthesiologist who has extensive experience with conditions like sciatica with cutting-edge treatments like RFA.

Signs of persistent sciatica

Sciatica is a painful nerve condition that occurs when something compresses one or more nerves that branch out of the spine.

Although an actual injury to the sciatic nerve is infrequent, any spine condition that causes nerve-related symptoms may be called sciatica.

Sciatic pain often only affects one side of the body, although in some cases, it affects both sides simultaneously. Other symptoms vary depending on the severity of the problem and how many nerves are involved.

Everyone experiences sciatica differently, although there are several common signs and symptoms, which include the following:

These symptoms may come and go or be relatively constant. We can quickly treat some cases of sciatica, while in other cases it is harder to find a therapy that works long-term.

Understanding radiofrequency ablation

Radiofrequency ablation, or RFA, is a treatment that uses radio waves to destroy nerve tissue. The radio waves produce a current that heats the affected nerves, stopping them from sending pain signals to the brain.

RFA is a procedure that Dr. Patel uses for chronic pain resistant to other treatment forms. She uses RFA for several reasons, which include the following:

During the procedure, we provide sedation to you, and Dr. Patel injects the treatment area with an anesthetic to prevent further discomfort.

When you're comfortable, she inserts a hollow needle into the skin at the site of the problematic nerve. Once in place, she inserts an electrode that emits radio waves that emit heat on the affected nerve.

The heat damages the nerve, inhibiting its ability to cause pain and send pain information to the brain to process.

It's a minimally invasive procedure, meaning you can go home the same day with minimal restrictions.

Is radiofrequency the next step in sciatica treatment?

RFA is a procedure, meaning it carries more risks than less invasive treatments. However, if you've tried other therapies without relief, RFA is usually the next step in treatment.

To determine if you're a good candidate for RFA with sciatica, Dr. Patel evaluates your symptoms and reviews any pertinent past medical history.

She also reviews what treatments you've tried and how much relief you got from each.

Dr. Patel usually performs a procedure known as a nerve block to find out if you get relief when specific nerves are temporarily blocked from sending signals.

If you get pain relief after a nerve block, Dr. Patel moves forward with the RFA procedure. You may experience pain relief within a few days to weeks after the procedure.

Most people get anywhere from six to twelve months of relief after RFA, depending on the severity of the symptoms and what nerves were involved.

However, nerves can grow back, meaning you might need to repeat RFA procedures. However, some people experience years of relief at a time.

Call our office in Newark, Delaware, today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Patel for sciatica or radiofrequency ablation, or book an appointment on the website.

You Might Also Enjoy...

5 Important Reasons to Up Your Fiber Intake

Nutrition is an essential aspect of health and well-being, especially when it comes to eating fiber. Read on to discover five vital reasons to up your fiber intake for optimal health and some weight loss.
Nerve Blocks for Neuropathy Pain: What to Expect

Nerve Blocks for Neuropathy Pain: What to Expect

Neuropathy is a painful condition of the nerves that may be hard to diagnose. Nerve blocks are both diagnostic and provide pain relief for neuropathy. Read on to learn more about nerve blocks and what to expect at your appointment.

Here’s How to Prepare for Your Superion Procedure

Spinal stenosis is a problem that causes compression of the nerves from narrowing of the spinal canal – but is invasive surgery the only treatment option? Read on to discover how the minimally invasive Superion™ procedure works and how to prepare.
Understanding Your Trigger Points

Understanding Your Trigger Points

Have you ever had a "knot" in your extremely painful muscle? It could be a trigger point that causes severe musculoskeletal pain. Read on to learn more about trigger points and how to achieve long-term relief.
What is NAD+ and Why is it So Popular?

What is NAD+ and Why is it So Popular?

NAD+ is one of those things you've heard of but don't know precisely what it does or why you need it. Keep reading to learn more about NAD+, its benefits, and why it's taking the medical industry by storm.