Radiofrequency Ablation/Rhizotomy

Radiofrequency ablation is a proven and safe means of interrupting pain signals that are transmitted by a specific nerve.


With this technique, radiofrequency current is passed through a needle. The needle is placed in direct proximity to a specific nerve by using x-ray guidance. When the current flows through the tissue, it heats the surrounding tissue to a temperature that will eliminate specific nerve signals.


If your pain decreased considerably while the area was numbed and temporarily blocked from causing pain with your previous procedure this helps diagnose the source of the pain.


Please inform us if you are taking any blood thinners, anti-inflammatory medication or have any bleeding tendencies. You must have a driver with you the day of the procedure because you may receive mild sedation.


Description of the Procedure


If a prescription of Valium is called into your chosen pharmacy the night before your procedure, you are to bring the prescription with you to your appointment and do not take it until directed by the staff.


The Valium should make you comfortable during the procedure but you will need to be awake and alert during the stimulation portion.


The skin will be numbed with a local anesthetic. A special needle will be inserted under x-ray guidance and you will be asked questions about where you feel the sensation. This will assist the physician to determine the optimal position of the needle.


The objective of the stimulation is for you to feel the sensation over the areas of your pain. Once the needle is place, radiofrequency heating will begin.


The physician may treat more than one level if previous injections have provided temporary relief at more than one level.




The procedure may provide long term pain relief and allow you to return to your daily activities.


Potential Risks


  • Infection
  • bleeding
  • bruising
  • allergic reaction
  • increased pain
  • paralysis
  • stroke or death
  • increase in blood sugar
  • internal vessel/organ puncture


Notify our office for:


  • Fever
  • chills
  • temperature over 100 degrees
  • vomiting
  • persistent stiff neck
  • severe headache
  • progressive weakness
  • numbness
  • hives or trouble breathing
  • rash
  • itchiness
  • red or flushed face
  • loss of bowel or bladder control
  • any redness, swelling or drainage at the site of the injection


Our office phone number is (317) 471-1400 or 1-855-664-3636.