Radio frequency lesioning is a procedure that uses radio waves to treat chronic pain that has otherwise failed conservative therapy. The procedure is minimally invasive and it eliminates pain by disrupting and/or eliminating the target nerve to the extent it can no longer transmit the painful stimuli for perception. Radiofrequency lesioning is used after the target nerve has been tested and diagnosed as the pain generator. Testing is often done by blocking the nerve with local anesthetic first.
Once the patient confirms considerably improvement after testing phase, then radio frequency lesioning is usually the next step. There are generally two types of radio frequency lesioning treatments available. The two types are called pulsed and continuous. Regardless of the type of radio frequency lesioning, it has been shown to be a common treatment option due to its high effectiveness in treating chronic pain.