Lumbar spondylosis refers to degeneration of the disc and bones in the lumbar spine (lower back region). This causes significant back pain or radiating pain into the hips, buttocks or legs, along with other symptoms. Radiofrequency ablation for lumbar spondylosis is a minimally invasive procedure that can relieve pain and delay or potentially eliminate the need for surgery.
How does Radiofrequency Ablation for Lumbar Spondylosis work?
Radiofrequency ablation uses radiofrequency waves to produce heat, which damages the nerves transmitting pain signals in the lumbar spine.
Radiofrequency Ablation for Lumbar Spondylosis procedure
Radiofrequency ablation is performed under general anesthesia or moderate sedation. You will lie on your stomach for the procedure, and a small area over your lower back which requires treatment is cleansed and locally numbed. This procedure is performed under the guidance of x-ray imaging that helps doctors to visualize the placement of the needle electrode into the appropriate place.
During the procedure, your doctor will direct a special radiofrequency needle electrode into the vertebral body. The needle tip is then heated to cauterize the nerve that transmits pain signals, thereby reducing the pain.
What are the associated risks and complications?
With any procedure, risks such as bleeding or infection at the injection site can occur. While patients often experience relief of pain, complete or partial relief of symptoms does not always occur. Additional risks of the procedure will be discussed by the performing radiologist and nursing staff prior to the procedure.
Doctors performing Radiofrequency ablation of the spine for degenerative pain
Hani Haykal, MD
Jerry Polasek, MD