Radio Frequency Lesioning is a procedure using a specialized computer-controlled machine to interrupt nerve conduction on a semi-permanent basis. The nerves are usually blocked for 6-9 months (but this time period can be as short as 3 months or as long at 18 months).
The first practical and commercially available Radio Frequency (RF) lesion generators were built in the early 1950s using continuous wave radio frequencies in the 1 MHZ range. RF lesioning is used when other conservative therapies such as exercise, bed rest, or medications other than narcotics, have failed. RF is only considered after a diagnostic (local anesthetic) block has been shown to be of benefit, but of short duration.
Treatments that are usually undertaken with the use of RF lesioning include, but are not limited to:
- Facet denervation (Headaches, neck pains, and upper or lower back pain)
- Sacroiliac Joint denervation (Hip Pain)
- Sympathetic blocks (upper or lower extremity pains)
- RF disc procedures (Headaches, neck pains, and upper or lower back pain)
Each of these procedures may be done at various levels of nerve area since there is a great deal of segmental overlap on the nerve conduction to these anatomical structures.