What should you know about... Radiofrequency lesioning is used for mechanical causes of back and neck pain, such as spinal stenosis, arthritis, and Failed-Back SurgerySyndrome. In addition, it can be used for certain types of headache caused by injury to rhe cervical spine. RF lesioning involves disrupting the nerve to the facet joints of the spine with high energy directed through a small needle. This creates a controlled destructive lesion of the nerve. This is carefully performed by a Pain Specialist who has been trained in this procedure. Spinal pain can be relieved for 3-9 months using rhis technique. The following are basic questions and answers regarding Radiofrequency lesioning: Is this procedure painful? No. Prior to lesioning the needle is stimulated with a test current which should reproduce your pain and not cause any stimulation ro or move ment of your legs or arms. You are also given a sedative for the procedure. Is there pain afterwards? Sometimes. For approximately I week after lesioning there may be pain from muscle spasm. It usually goes away and can be treated with medication during this short time period. Is the procedure permanent? Relief of spinal pain through RF lesioning usually lasts 3-9 months. It is therefore possible that you may require an additional treatment. Where is this performed? In a hospital, outpatient surgical center, or office surgical suite. Can I drive afterwards? No. You will receive sedation. In addition, sometimes there is transient numbness afterwards. Both could affect your ability to drive. What if the procedure does not work? Dr. Sanford M. Silverman is a board-certified Pain Specialist who can treat your pain with many different modalities. A combination of procedures, some more advanced, together with medication and physical therapy usually provide relief of pain.