Meralgia Paraesthetica Treatment Using Pulsed Radiofrequency
Meralgia paraesthetica is a painful condition that affects the outer thigh. It can occur in obese people,. People who have injured themselves, had trauma to the thigh or as the result of a sports injury.
Conservative medical treatment is relatively successful in treating meralgia paraesthetics, but there are occasions where people do not respond well to conservative treatments, but surgery may not always be an option.
There is therefore great excitement about the role that pulsed radiofrequency could have in treating this condition, which is not yet a widespread treatment for this condition, but nevertheless, may assist patients greatly.
What Is Pulsed Radiofrequency?
Pulsed radiofrequency is, like its sister heat based radiofrequncy, a way of treating conditions where there is chronic pain. Pulsed radiofrequency essentially retrains your nerves so that they do not transmit pain signals to the brain. It is in effect brainwashing for nerves that are sending out pain signals to the brain itself!
This works by the affected nerve having a catheter fitted in its immediate vicinity. The pulsed radiofrequency then directs an electromagnetic field into the catheter. This tricks the nerve into thinking that it is not experiencing pain and so it stops sending signals to the brain telling it that it is experiencing pain!
In effect the nerve has been conditioned into thinking that it no longer has any pain.
Is Pulsed Radiofrequency Safe?
Yes the procedure is extremely safe and unlike conventional radiofrequency, the nerve is not left damaged by the pulses, so it will be returned to its former state, prior to the pain being experienced. If traditional radiofrequency is used, then the nerve ends up damaged, so that it simply cannot feel pain: but this is not the case with pulsed radiofrequency.
It may not be suitable for all patients, but your pain consultant will only suggest the use of pulsed radiofrequency if they are satisfied that it is a safe procedure for you.
The fact that the procedure is minimally invasive also makes it a much safer option than surgery.
Is Pulsed Radiofrequency Painful?
Some patients can experience pain with this procedure and some relate that their condition may be slightly more painful for a few days after treatment, then the nerve returns to its ‘original’ state and the pain effectively disappears.
Will I Need A Course of Pulsed Radiofrequency?
Many patients respond well to only one session of pulsed radiofrequency, so it could well be that you only need one session to alleviate your pain. However, patients react differently according to their own particular condition, what caused the meralgia paraesthetica in the first place and whether or not they have any other underlying medical conditions.
But most people will only require one or two sessions to experience significant improvement.
How Long Does The Procedure Take?
The procedure will take around an hour and you may be anaesthetised or sedated to ensure that the catheter can be inserted and that you do not move around too much when the procedure is being carried out.