If other treatments don’t relieve your foot or ankle pain, that doesn’t mean you have to suffer through a painful and complicated surgical procedure. With radiofrequency ablation (RFA) at Valley Foot & Ankle in Renton, Washington, you can get long-lasting pain relief with no incisions, only local anesthesia, and no downtime. The Valley Foot & Ankle team includes RFA specialists who tailor your treatment just for you.

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What is radiofrequency ablation?

Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a nonsurgical treatment for chronic pain. It uses precise, carefully targeted heat to ablate a nerve that’s causing pain, disabling the nerve signaling and ending your pain.

RFA is effective for many foot and ankle conditions, including neuromas, plantar fasciitis, neuritis, and nerve entrapment caused by surgery.

RFA can be a good choice if you’ve already used conservative treatment approaches such as custom orthotics, injections, and physical therapy but didn’t get adequate pain relief.

If you’ve exhausted treatment options other than surgery, clinical evidence shows that RFA presents an excellent alternative.

How is radiofrequency ablation better than surgery?

Radiofrequency ablation offers some major advantages over surgery, including:

  • No incisions, stitches, or post-procedure wound care
  • You can bear weight after the procedure
  • You only need local anesthesia for the procedure

RFA is generally a simple procedure that your podiatry care team performs on-site in the convenient Valley Foot & Ankle office.

How does radiofrequency ablation work?

The Valley Foot & Ankle team inserts a thin probe in your heel or other affected part of your foot. They move the probe carefully and confirm placement using ultrasound imaging.

Your specialists also test a nerve by placing the probe nearby. This generates a buzz or thump to confirm the probe’s in the right area.

Your specialist then injects local anesthesia in the treatment area. They activate the RFA probe to ablate the nerve through controlled heat delivery. The ablation takes less than 20 seconds in most cases.

After your treatment, you may wear a brace or bandage home. Usually, you can continue wearing normal athletic shoes. You can generally remove the brace or bandage the next day and then resume normal activity according to your tolerance.

There’s no need for prescription pain medication, as over-the-counter drugs like Tylenol and Motrin are quite effective.

When will I see results after radiofrequency ablation?

Your pain may temporarily worsen slightly, but it gets better within as little as a few days. Most patients get maximum relief at around 6-8 weeks after their procedure.

How many radiofrequency ablation treatments do I need?

It depends on your case. Most patients get about 50% pain reduction after their first RFA session. Approximately 80% of patients who have two radiofrequency ablation procedures achieve satisfactory pain relief.

Are RFA results permanent?

Nerves normally grow back around 6-12 months after treatment. But, fortunately, the nerve doesn’t usually bring the pain back with it. Pain relief can last from six months to 4-5 years or more. At least 80% of patients only need one treatment.

Valley Foot & Ankle is well-known as the Pacific Northwest leader in RFA and is ready to help you now. Call the office or book an appointment online today.