It consists of treating the nerve roots coming out of the spine, using a special needle containing an electrode that heats the tissues near the tip by pulsed radiofrequency waves. These waves interfere in a reversible way in the function of the neurons, producing a pain blockage that can last for several months.
It is indicated to treat neuropathic pain, that is to treat the injury of nerves in the vertebral column, caused by multiple processes, disc hernias, canal stenosis…
It can be performed in the cervical, dorsal and lumbar areas.
It is performed in the operating room with X-ray control with fluoroscopy.
During the test the patient will be lying down.
Superficial or deep sedative medication will be administered according to the person’s needs for an optimum level of comfort, as well as local anaesthesia at the puncture and access point.
The test is painless until the injection of the contrast is performed to check the situation of the needle. At that moment there may be a stimulation of the nerve root, which reproduces the pain that extends to the arm or to the leg. This lasts a few moments and after the treatment, a local anaesthetic is administered together with anti-inflammatory medication that anaesthetises the root.
Sometimes the approach is not via skin puncture (percutaneous approach), but through the epidural space via sacral hiatus for the lumbar region and thoracic epidural, for the cervical region. It is the so-called intracanal radiofrequency technique.