As we age, we find our backs, knees, and joints feeling weak and worn out. Sometimes, it also leads to immense pain that leaves us wondering if we have to be bound to a walking cane for the remainder of our days.
Treating Joint Pain & Knee Arthritis
Of course, replacement surgeries can help us out to an extent, but it does not work for everybody. Chronic pain is extremely challenging to deal with, and only advanced medical procedures can offer you long-lasting relief.
Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that is known to offer significant relief to people who experience frequent bouts of pain in their joints. Our experts at Source Healthcare strive to offer a fully comprehensive consultation and treatment that can effectively manage joint pain and knee arthritis for Santa Monica and Los Angeles patients once and for all.
What Exactly is Radiofrequency Ablation?
Radiofrequency ablation (RFA), also referred to as rhizotomy or neurectomy, is performed with a special needle that uses thermal energy to create a small lesion on the nerve that transmits pain signals. This can result in longer-lasting pain relief usually between 8 to 12 months. Before the ablation, a diagnostic block must be performed using a local anesthetic to identify the pain generator.
RFA is a treatment option for many different conditions including neck pain, back pain, spondylolysis, sacroiliitis, knee pain, and occipital neuralgia.
The spine has 24 bones that are stacked up into a column. The topmost part of this column that connects the torso to the skull in the head is called the cervical spine. Like anywhere else in the body, the joints and discs in the cervical spine experience wear and tear with age, causing a condition called cervical spondylosis. Also known as neck arthritis, the condition causes narrowing of the spinal column, leading to distressing symptoms such as neck and shoulder pain, headache, and stiffness of the neck. At Source Healthcare, we perform radiofrequency ablation to provide lasting relief from chronic pain associated with cervical spondylosis.
Cervical Facet Rhizotomy
The facet joints stabilize the spinal column while allowing it to move. Arthritis or degeneration of the bones in the facet joints can result in painful friction between these joints while compressing the nerves that exit from the spine. These joints are the common source of pain for most back pain sufferers. A key area of our specialization relates to performing facet rhizotomy that shuts off pain signals in facet joints. Our pain management expert inserts an electrode beside the facet joint’s nerves while radiofrequency is used to heat the electrodes. The heat burns the nerve to provide pain relief that lasts months to several years.
More than 80 percent of people above the age of 40 in the US have lumbar spondylosis, a term that denotes wear and tear of the spinal discs in the lower back. Heavy lifting, age, weight gain, arthritis, or other spinal abnormalities can cause the bones in the lower back to weaken, resulting in back pain, muscle stiffness, and tenderness. As the top-rated orthopedic pain management clinic in Santa Monica, Source Healthcare offers minimally invasive radiofrequency ablation treatment for lumbar spondylosis that is highly effective in eliminating pain. After applying a local anesthetic to the low back, the doctor inserts a thin needle using X-ray into the area to be treated. Radiofrequency energy is passed to the needle to destroy the nerves and damaged areas of the discs, resulting in optimal pain relief.
Lumbar Facet Rhizotomy
The lumbar facet joints are situated in the lower back and serve to stabilize and protect the spinal column. Just like other joints such as hips or knee joints, the facet joints are vulnerable to degeneration. Lumbar facet joint degeneration is typically associated with advancing age. The facet joints cannot be repaired through surgery, unlike knee joints. Hundreds of patients in and around Santa Monica have benefitted from the lumbar facet rhizotomy procedure we offer at Source Healthcare. The procedure involves the insertion of a needle into the nerves exiting lumbar facet joints. Electric current applied to the nerves cauterizes it and blocks the pain signals that originate from the facet joints.
Knee pain may keep you from being as active as you like. And it may come from a gradual breakdown of your knee’s cartilage. That’s a protective tissue on the ends of your bones. In a healthy knee, the bones glide smoothly against each other. But in a knee with osteoarthritis, cartilage begins to wear away. Bone rubs against bone. Bony bumps we call “bone spurs” may form.
Genicular (Knee) Nerve Rhizotomy
If you or your loved one are experiencing chronic knee pain that has not responded to other treatments, Source Healthcare has an effective solution. Genicular rhizotomy is a minimally invasive procedure that involves cauterizing the nerves that exit the knee joint. These nerves -called genicular nerves -connect only to the knee joint and are not required for standing or walking. During the procedure, our orthopedic pain management specialists insert a needle into the genicular nerves and heat the nerves by passing radiofrequency energy. The outcome is profound pain relief, with our patients being able to walk without the nagging knee pain for as long as a year.
Recovery & Results
Once the procedure is completed, our doctors will thoroughly explain all the aftercare you need to follow. Based on your unique needs, our experts can recommend the optimal activity levels and rest you need to incorporate into your day. Typically, patients return to normal activities within a few days to weeks after the procedure.
The recovery is gradual, and some patients may require additional sessions to effectively manage the pain, but patients report feeling more agile and less dependent on pain medication.
Book an Appointment With Us Today
Nobody should go through any stage of life with unbearable pain, and we understand that. Source Healthcare offers some of the very best treatment for joint and knee arthritis Santa Monica and Los Angeles have to offer. If you think you may be a candidate for RFA treatment, please call our office to schedule an appointment.