Reasons to Consider a Physician’s Level of Experience When Going for Radiofrequency Ablation

Radiofrequency ablation is considered to be a generally safe method of managing back pain. However, similar to any other method of treatment, things can go wrong during or after treatment. This underlines the need to settle on an experienced Austin radiofrequency ablation specialist so that you are safe. The team of professionals at Republic Spine & Pain understands the sensitivity of this procedure and is committed to the highest levels of professionalism to ensure your safety. Below are some of the most common problems that can arise.

Allergic Reaction

The risk of allergic reaction reigns in every procedure where medications are delivered through injections, and radiofrequency ablation is no different. Commonly injected medication in this procedure include bupivacaine, cortisone, radiographic dye, and lidocaine. After treatment, it is normal to experience rashes on the area where the injection was made. However, if your allergic reactions do not cease while you are in the procedure room, this is a sign that you require emergency care. Inform your doctor if you have known allergies before the start of the procedure.


There is a risk of suffering from various infections during radiofrequency ablation. To start with, every time you receive an injection, there is a likelihood of infection. To counter this, your doctor will use a disinfectant to cleanse the skin and prevent contact with unsterilized surgical equipment on the area that has been punctured by the injection. This is known as the sterile technique. Your doctor will also use sterile gloves and practice good hygiene including proper handwashing, to minimize the possibility of an infection. Infections can also occur under the skin, in the facet joint or muscle.  Increasing swelling, redness, fever, and pain are signs of an infection.

Nerve Damage

Since radiofrequency ablation is done near the nerves, this presents an imminent risk that the needle electrode can accidentally hit one of the large spinal nerves as it is being positioned. This can cause nerve damage and debilitating pain. Your doctor at Republic Spine & Pain understands this and uses a state-of-the-art 3D imaging to locate the pain point and ensure precision during the injection. However, if a needle punctures your nerves during treatment, they can heal on their own without requiring further medical intervention.


This is a condition where the nerves become inflamed, making your back feel tender and painful. This occurs in 10-15% of patients who undergo radiofrequency ablation. If your back pain increases after treatment, this can be a sign of an inflamation. This condition ceases without medication and if it fails to go away on its own, your doctor may recommend injecting a mixture of local anesthesia and steroids to obtain relief from inflammation and pain.

Radiofrequency ablation can be a make-or-break procedure for you, subject to the provider you choose. The level of experience in a provider counts in every conceivable way. Schedule a consultation with your experienced specialist to be on the right path to freedom from back pain.

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