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Cervical facet radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat chronic neck pain stemming from the facet joints.

Patient Evaluation:

It begins with a thorough evaluation of the patient's medical history, physical examination, and review of imaging studies such as X-rays, MRI scans, or CT scans. This helps in identifying the source of the patient's back pain and determining whether lumbar facet joint pathology is likely contributing to their symptoms.

Pre-procedure Evaluation:

Before the procedure, the patient's medical history, imaging studies (such as X-rays or MRIs), and diagnostic injections (such as medial branch blocks) are reviewed to confirm the diagnosis and plan the treatment approach.

Informed Consent:

The procedure, its purpose, potential risks, benefits, and alternatives are explained to the patient. Informed consent is obtained, ensuring the patient understands what to expect during and after the procedure.


The patient is positioned comfortably on the procedure table, usually lying face by the side. The skin overlying the treatment area is cleaned and sterilized, and a local anesthetic is administered to numb the skin and deeper tissues.

Fluoroscopic Guidance:

Fluoroscopy (real-time X-ray) is used to visualize the cervical spine and guide the placement of the RFA needles accurately. Fluoroscopy ensures that the needles are positioned precisely at the target facet joints.

Radiofrequency Ablation:

Once the needles are properly positioned, they deliver radiofrequency energy to the nerves responsible for transmitting pain signals from the facet joints. This energy heats up the nerve tissue, disrupting its ability to transmit pain signals without causing significant damage to surrounding structures.

Post-procedure Care:

After the ablation, the needles are removed, and the patient may be monitored for a short period in a recovery area. Post-procedure instructions, including activity restrictions, pain management strategies, and potential side effects, are provided. It's normal to experience some soreness or discomfort at the injection site after the procedure, but this should improve within a few days. If you have any concerns or experience unusual symptoms, it's essential to contact our team for guidance.


Patients typically have follow-up appointments to assess their response to the RFA procedure and address any concerns. Some patients experience immediate pain relief, while others may have a delayed response as the nerves take time to degenerate fully.

Long-term Management:

While RFA can provide significant pain relief for many patients, the duration of pain relief varies. Some patients may experience months to years of relief, while others may require repeat procedures as the nerves regenerate over time.

Overall, cervical facet radiofrequency ablation can be an effective option for managing chronic neck pain when conservative treatments have failed. However, like any medical procedure, it carries certain risks, and its suitability should be carefully assessed on a case-by-case basis.