Pulsed Radiofrequency (Pulsed RF) Description:

Patients with sciatica, spinal stenosis, herniated (“slipped”) discs, post-surgical pain, or similar conditions, who fail to respond to epidural steroid injections are good candidates for a pulsed radiofrequency (also called pulsed RF) procedure. Unlike the related radiofrequency ablation (RF) procedure, pulsed RF does not thermally damage the cells involved and instead disrupts the nerve cells carrying the pain signal by means of a high-frequency electric field that is administered in carefully controlled pulses. This results in a long-lasting interruption in pain signals and reduced pain in the targeted area.

The procedure is relatively pain-free and is performed in our office under local anesthesia. It takes approximately 15 minutes and is considered a very safe and sterile procedure with little risk of complications. Following a pulsed RF procedure, patients can resume normal activities. A significant reduction in pain is usually observed within several days and usually lasts for at least several weeks.

Pulsed radiofrequency techniques have been used for decades for medical purposes. However, peer reviewed studies that address pulsed RF are only now starting to appear in the medical literature. Pulsed RF is thus considered a relatively new technique by insurance companies in the United States, and as a result most companies do not cover the procedure. However, in Europe, pulsed RF procedures are frequently performed and have high rates of success. Dr. Lefkowitz trained in Europe under one of the most well-known radiofrequency doctors in the world and has become an expert in radiofrequency procedures over the past 15 years.

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