This minimally-invasive procedure, which takes about 30 minutes to perform, uses radiofrequency probes to treat chronic back pain.
After a sedative is administered, a local anesthetic injection numbs the skin where the needles will be inserted. Two needles housing radiofrequency probes are placed through the skin and soft tissues. A fluoroscope is used to guide the needles to the problem disc. The probes are carefully inserted into the disc on both sides of the nerve fibers that are the cause of the discogenic pain. Radiofrequency waves are passed between the two probes, heating the nerves. Once the nerves have been heated, the probes are removed and the skin is bandaged. After the sedative wears off, the patient is allowed to go home.