Nerve ablation means the elimination of the pain transmitting nerve fibres that innervate the joints, so that the sensation cannot reach the brain and cannot become conscious. Most often, we treat the nerves in the small joints of the spine and the larger joints of the limbs. In this way, spinal and other joint problems can be significantly reduced for a long time. At Panoráma Polyclinic, three neurosurgeons and spine specialists carry out this procedure within the framework of the Pain Outpatient Clinic, Dr Máté Nagy (profile manager), as well as Dr Adrien Rácz and Dr Levente Ilyés.
Effective way to reduce chronic pain
Nerve ablation can be an effective means of treating severe and chronic pain, especially in cases where other conservative therapies have failed. The procedure allows targeted neutralisation of the affected nerve, thereby relieving or eliminating pain.
The human body is a highly complex system in which nerves play a key role in information transmission and perception. Nerves are important parts of the nervous system, transmitting impulses between the spinal cord and the brain, and between the sensory nerves in the limbs and the brain. When a patient experiences severe pain due to a musculoskeletal disorder or possibly due to a previous intervention, or the part of the body connected to the nerves is injured because of an illness or accident, this can cause everyday discomfort that can lead to a long-term deterioration in the patient’s quality of life. The long lasting, severe pain can lower the sensory threshold of the nerves and make the patient more sensitive. In addition, living with the recurrent or constant pain is in itself stressful, both for the patient’s mental state and for the family surrounding the patient. This is why it is recommended to eliminate the cause of the pain as soon as possible or, if this is not possible for whatever reason, to treat the pain as a symptom professionally.
Radiofrequency thermocoagulation: what does it mean, what kind of method is it?
This type of ablation is a minimally invasive intervention that uses a technique called radiofrequency to eliminate pain with a high success rate and in the long term. During the procedure the doctor gently inserts a special needle into the affected area under local anaesthesia and uses radiofrequency-generated heat to neutralise the pain-transmitting nerve fibre. This process breaks the connection between the receptors and the central nervous system, so that pain signals are not transmitted. The procedure involves minimal pain and patients can go home after the intervention with a short observation period. After the treatment, in most cases, pain is reduced by at least half or even eliminated. Precision surgery is made possible by our image intensification equipment, which allows our neurosurgeons to determine the exact location of the nerves that transmit pain sensations to an accuracy of tenths of a millimetre.
Application of nerve ablation
Nerve ablation is usually used in patients who suffer from severe, chronic pain, for whom other conservative treatments have failed. It is most commonly used for spinal conditions, for example, age-related degenerative lower back pain.
However, it is also often used to treat spinal conditions such as spondyloarthritis (vertebral arthritis), or pain in other areas of the body: knee joint pain, pain associated with cancer, peripheral nerve pain, arthritis in the vertebrae, sacroiliac joint pain, back pain, neck pain. With nerve ablation, a neurosurgeon targets the nerve or nerves or nerve roots that send pain signals, thereby reducing or eliminating pain.
Significant pain relief in a few minutes
Nerve ablation can provide significant pain relief for those who are living with chronic pain and for whom other treatment options are not effective. Secondly, the procedure is minimally invasive, which means it can be performed on an outpatient basis and can result in faster rehabilitation. It is also important that nerve ablation allows patients to lead a more active life again, as their pain is likely to be relieved or eliminated for long period of time.