Unfortunately, the spine or facet joints, which are commonly affected by arthritis, can't simply be replaced the way a knee or a hip can. But there are other treatment strategies available. One of these treatments is radiofrequency.
A very common area that arthritis can affect is the spine. Unfortunately, the spine or facet joints is where it specifically affects, can't simply be replaced such as the way a knee or a hip can. But there are other treatment strategies available. And one such treatment that we commonly carry out is radiofrequency.
We use specialised needles to heal up the nerves surrounding the facet joint in the spine, and this means afterwards the joints and the arthritis are still present, but because we've burnt away the nerve, there is no connection to the brain anymore. People then have a window of opportunity where they have less pain and can work with their physiotherapists and engage in the rehabilitation process on a more meaningful basis.
Some very common questions we get about procedures in general, but also specifically with radiofrequency is, is it painful? The procedure itself generally isn't too painful because we use sedation and there's an anaesthetist there during the procedure to provide sedation as well as pain relief.
But afterwards, people can feel an increase in their pain from their usual baseline, but this usually settles after a week or two, and then they should notice a remarkable improvement.
Another common question would be, is this going to cure me? Unfortunately, it's not a curative procedure. When we burn away the nerves with radiofrequency, it usually lasts up to about 12 months and therefore can give people quite a good window of opportunity where they have less pain to then increase their strength, their mobility, and engage in their everyday activities as well as work with their physiotherapist. And then the procedure can be repeated after 12 months if necessary.
So if you're suffering with back pain, I would encourage you to talk to your GP because facet joint arthritis is a very common cause of back pain and you might be a candidate for radiofrequency treatment.
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