Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that is generally performed with local anesthetic and mild sedation. It is a procedure where electrical current is produced by radio waves to heat up a small area of nerve tissue, while decreasing pain signals from that specific area of the brain.
To find the injured facet joint, radiofrequency energy is used to interrupt nerve function. Pain signals will no longer be passed between the nerve and the facet joint. Once pain relief is experienced, the physician will be able to locate the injured facet joint.