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Radiofrequency Ablation - How It Works and What to Expect

Dr Brian Klagges, MD

Dr. Brian Klagges, with an MD from the State University of New York at Buffalo, serves as the director of interventional pain management at the Interventional Spine Center at Elliot Hospital. For patients who are experiencing severe arthritis of the knee, Dr. Brian Klagges offers treatments such as genicular nerve ablation.

Nerve ablation, particularly radiofrequency ablation, can offer relief for many patients with chronic pain. The procedure is usually performed under local anesthesia, though patients may receive a low dose of a sedative.
The surgeon begins by using a specialized X-ray tool known as a fluoroscope, guiding a thin needle into the region to be treated. Then, he or she introduces an electric current through the needle into the site. The current applies targeted heat to the tissue believed to be the source of pain, which creates a small lesion on the nerve. This destroys the part of the nerve responsible for transmitting pain signals. The effects typically last at least nine months, though they may continue for two years or more.

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