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What is Radiofrequency Thermocoagulation?


Beginning in the 1960s, radiofrequency thermocoagulation has been developed for the destruction of nerves going to certain parts of the body. Radiofrequency thermocoagulation (RF) is the interruption of nerve conduction by generating heat with radiofrequency energy. By using this method in pain treatment, nerve fibers that transmit pain are disabled. This current, which is sent at a very high frequency of 500,000 Hz and resembles radio waves, can cause destruction at a single point without causing any disturbance in the environment. Over time, the method has become much more developed and safe.

The duration of effect varies from a few months to many years depending on the type of pain, onset time and personal characteristics. The physician who will apply radiofrequency thermocoagulation should be experienced and have received the necessary training. 

Only algology specialists apply this treatment.

In Which Diseases Is Radiofrequency Therapy Used?


Although radiofrequency therapy is extensively used in non-surgical low back and neck hernias, it has also been an effective treatment method in the treatment of chronic low back, neck and joint pains.

  • Low Back Pain

  • Back Pains

  • Neck Pain

  • Wrist Pain

  • Shoulder and Arm Pain

  • Coccyx Pains

  • Hip Pain

  • Knee Pain

  • Foot and Ankle Pain

  • Muscle Pains

How is radiofrequency thermocoagulation applied, how long does it take?
  • The intervention is performed in the operating room environment. After lying supine, the body area where the intervention will be performed is cleaned sterilely and anesthetized with local anesthetic drugs.

  • Meanwhile, blood pressure, heart rate and breathing are constantly monitored by an anesthesiologist.

  • The intervention area is detected with the scopy, that is, the imaging device, and the overlying skin area is marked.

  • The targeted point and tissue is reached by entering with a needle-like cannula accompanied by imaging.

  • A stimulus is given from the RFT device to confirm once again that the needle is in the right place.

  • After deciding that the needle is in the right place, the radiofrequency process is started. The radiofrequency process is started by adjusting the device configuration for the purpose of the treatment. The process takes 5 minutes and the process is terminated automatically at the end of the time.

  • The patient is expected to recover.

  • After the procedure, the patient is followed up in the room and discharged after an average observation period of 2-3 hours.

Is radiofrequency thermocoagulation painful?

Injection is not painful. Sedatives and painkillers are given to the patient to avoid pain. Temporary numbness may be felt in the applied area after the procedure.

What should I expect from radiofrequency thermocoagulation?


The pain is expected to gradually decrease and disappear within an average of 14-21 days. Generally, there is a 70-80% success rate.

How many times can radiofrequency thermocoagulation be applied?


The procedure can be repeated in patients who do not benefit from the first procedure. However, it is not recommended to repeat more than 2 times in 6 months. Recovery is usually permanent, especially in cases of disc overflow. 

How soon after radiofrequency thermocoagulation can I start work? 


Patients can return to their daily work and activities 1 day after the procedure. It is an extremely effective method in 75-80% of patients. Patients should then be trained on how to move, behave, and lift weights. If this training is given correctly, the effect will be permanent.

What are the risks and side effects?

Side effects are very rare. Adverse effects related to the drug are almost never seen due to the fact that it is given to a limited area and its systemic spread is very low. Infection is a very rare serious side effect. To prevent it, the procedure should be carried out in completely sterile conditions. Since the insertion site and shape of the needle are determined under radiological imaging, serious side effects such as bleeding and nerve damage are almost never encountered.

To whom radiofrequency thermocoagulation cannot be applied?


Radiofrequency thermocoagulation is not applied in patients with bleeding disorders, in patients with infections on the face or any part of the body.

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