CLEARWATER, Fla., March 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Chronic back and neck pain is a major problem worldwide. CBS news featured a report on a cutting-edge procedure, Radiofrequency Ablation that has helped thousands of patients.
Dr. Ashraf Hanna, a board certified physician and director of pain management at the Florida Spine Institute in Clearwater, FL discusses this treatment: "Radiofrequency Ablation or RFA is a minimally invasive procedure that can help relieve pain. RFA is similar to laser surgery in the sense that it achieves the same goal, which is the cauterization of the sensory nerves that transmit pain signals. RFA really is better than laser surgery because it is less invasive, the needle is smaller and there is no incision, and is covered by most insurance so it does not cost thousands of dollars."
"We use RFA for joint pain in the back or neck, hip or knee. We first inject steroids and if the pain relief does not last, then we do a diagnostic block, and we block to the same nerves that we are planning to cauterize to see if the patient has at least 50% pain relief. If they do, then they are a good candidate for RFA. The main point we would like to make is that just because an MRI shows a problem with the disc, it does not mean that this is the primary source of the pain. Facet joint pain is responsible for at least 40-50% of pain in the lower back and neck. RFA is the best treatment for patients that have failed injection therapy. The patients now have hope and relief," stated Dr. Hanna.
Radiofrequency Ablation has recently become a very viable option for patients with knee and hip pain. It is indicated for patients may have not responded to medication, physical therapy, and injection procedures and also are not good surgical candidates.
One of the RFA Patients being treated by Dr. Hanna was Janet Helm: "Prior to finding Dr. Hanna, I'd been suffering from chronic back pain since around 1998. I have lumbar herniated disks and had to have back surgery. After the surgery, I was in an extreme amount of pain and I was taking heavy doses of medication. I then met with Dr. Hanna, and he suggested I try RFA for my neck and lower back. After the RFA treatment, I had immediate pain relief and was able to live my life again. My pain is now very minimal, I have lowered my medication and I am very happy with my RFA results!"
RFA is an outpatient procedure that can be completed in 15-30 minutes. Relief can range from six months to a year or more and can be repeated as needed. Radiofrequency Ablation has been performed safely for many years with excellent outcomes.
Before deciding on major surgery, patients are urged to consider Radiofrequency Ablation as a treatment option.