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Radiofrequency ablation (RFA)

When surgery for chronic hip or knee pain is not an option, radiofrequency ablation may provide the relief you need to get back to the activities you enjoy.

How RFA works

Radiofrequency ablation is an outpatient injection treatment that generally takes less than an hour. During the procedure, X-rays are used to locate the nerve causing you pain. Your pain management clinician then numbs the area and uses a special needle to deactivate the nerve by heating it with radio waves. The process prevents pain signals from being sent to your brain, thus reducing your discomfort and getting you back to living your life.

Long-term relief generally lasts between six and 18 months, beginning two to three weeks after treatment.

The procedure is minimally invasive, and most patients return to their normal activities the following day. All candidates for radiofrequency ablation undergo one or two diagnostic tests to ensure they will respond to the treatment.

What are the benefits of RFA?

  • Effective pain relief
  • Outpatient procedure
  • Greater mobility
  • Non-narcotic
  • Quick recovery time
  • Cost-effective, no overnight hospital stay
  • Minimally invasive

Are you a candidate for RFA?

You may be a candidate for radiofrequency ablation if you:

  • Have advanced arthritis in your hips or knees
  • Have had a hip or knee replacement but still suffer from pain
  • Have not responded to steroid-based injections
  • Are not eligible for surgery due to a health condition or other factor, such as being too young to be a good candidate for a total knee or hip replacement.

Schedule a consultation with Pain Management at (608) 775-9000 to see if radiofrequency ablation can help you manage your hip or knee pain.

Love + Medicine

Every day, Gundersen Health System staff deliver great medicine plus a little something extra—we call it Love + Medicine.

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