Cervical Radiofrequency Ablation to Treat Cervical (neck) Spinal Arthritis

Facet joints are found in the cervical (neck), thoracic (mid back), and lumbar (low back) spine. These joints allow the spine to flex, extend, and rotate. The medial branch nerve innervates the facet joint. The Cervical Radiofrequency Ablation, or RFA for short, is a percutaneous procedure in which the nerves for the facet joints are ablated using radiofrequency heat. The nerves are burnt using heat generated through a radiofrequency generator, and special needles are used that have a tip that heats. These nerves are only responsible for the transmission of pain so there is usually no other negative effect from eliminating these nerves.