Synergy Health Partners

Lumbar Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA)

Lumbar Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) is a minimally invasive procedure used to reduce chronic lower back pain. This technique involves using radiofrequency energy to heat up a small area of nerve tissue, thereby decreasing pain signals from that specific area. RFA is particularly effective for patients with facet joint pain, which often results from arthritis or other degenerative changes in the spine.


Why Might You Need Lumbar RFA?

You might be a candidate for Lumbar RFA if you suffer from chronic lower back pain that has not responded to other treatments. Conditions commonly treated with Lumbar RFA include:

  • Facet Joint Arthritis: Inflammation or degeneration of the joints between the vertebrae.
  • Chronic Low Back Pain: Persistent pain originating from the lumbar spine.
  • Spondylosis: Age-related degeneration of the spine.

What Are the Steps in a Lumbar RFA Procedure?

Preoperative Preparation
  • Medical Evaluation: Comprehensive review of medical history and current symptoms.
  • Medication Review: Instructions on which medications to avoid prior to the procedure.
  • Fasting: Specific guidelines on fasting if sedation is required.
During the Procedure
  1. Patient Positioning: You will lie face down on a procedure table.
  2. Local Anesthesia: The area around the injection site will be numbed.
  3. Needle Insertion: Using fluoroscopic (X-ray) guidance, a needle is inserted near the affected nerves.
  4. Radiofrequency Application: Radiofrequency energy is delivered through the needle to heat the nerve tissue.
Postoperative Care
  • Monitoring: You will be observed for a short period after the procedure.
  • Activity Restrictions: Limited physical activity is recommended for the rest of the day, with a gradual return to normal activities as tolerated.

Recovery and Rehabilitation

Postoperative Care
  • Pain Relief: Pain relief can begin within a few days and last for several months.
  • Pain Diary: Keeping a pain diary to monitor the effectiveness of the procedure is encouraged.
  • Follow-Up: A follow-up appointment will be scheduled to evaluate your response to the treatment.

Potential Complications

While Lumbar RFA is generally safe, potential complications can include:

  • Infection: Rare, but possible at the injection site.
  • Bleeding: Minor bleeding may occur.
  • Nerve Damage: Extremely rare but a potential risk.
  • Temporary Pain Increase: Some patients may experience an initial increase in pain.

Benefits of Lumbar Radiofrequency Ablation in Pain Management

  • Long-Lasting Pain Relief: Effective in reducing chronic lower back pain for several months.
  • Improved Functionality: Helps improve mobility and ability to perform daily activities.
  • Minimally Invasive: Offers a non-surgical option for pain management.
  • Enhanced Quality of Life: Allows for increased participation in physical and social activities.

Find a Pain Management Surgeon

Find a Location


For appointments contact
Scheduling: 855.750.5757

For billing questions
Billing: 586.439.6242

Fax: 734.542.0220


For appointments contact
Scheduling: 855.750.5757

For billing questions
Billing: 586.439.6242

Fax: 586.261.1961
Fax (Pain Management): 586.838.1603


For appointments contact
Scheduling: 855.750.5757