Commonly Asked Questions About Pulsed Radiofrequency Treatment For Meralgia Paraesthetica
The condition meralgia paraesthetic is sometimes known as ‘lateral femoral cutaneous nerve syndrome’ and it is a condition that arises from the nerve that directly supplies sensations and feelings to the thigh becoming pinched or trapped, which results in very painful sensations being felt in the upper thigh. These sensations are often described as being of intense tingling or a feeling of numbness, sometimes the pain can be quite intense and many patients are quite concerned by the intensity and the debilitating effects that the condition may have. As conditions go, it is not all that common and thus the diagnosis can take time. However, once a diagnosis has been made, then treatment options can begin.
If conservative treatment options are not successful and the condition is not eased, then two options are available, namely surgery or pulsed radiofrequency treatment. Due to the fact that not everyone has heard of pulsed radiofrequency some patients have questions about the procedure and these are the most commonly asked questions.
What Is The Procedure?
The procedure is very simple, as an electromagnetic field is applied to the nerve in question through using a catheter and this is a means of blocking the nerve affected from feeling pain. It is actually ‘fooled’ into thinking that there is no pain being felt, so it returns to being in a pain free condition and stops signalling to the brain that pain is experienced.
Is Pulsed Radiofrequency Painful?
The treatment is not painful, although some people state that it can be a little uncomfortable and there may be increased pain afterwards, as the nerve reacts to having been treated, but overall it is not a procedure that is painful and recovery rates are usually very speedy, often within a couple of hours of the radiofrequency taking place.
Why Is Pulsed Radiofrequency Not Offered As A First Option?
Pulsed radiofrequency is not offered as a first course of treatment for meralgia paraesthetica, simply because it may not be needed. Usually the condition will be treated successfully with medication or with nerve root blocks, where the affected nerve is injected so that it stops feeling pain and therefore there is no need for further treatment. Although pulsed radiofrequency is a very safe procedure it is often prudent simply to try the more traditional forms of treatment, before embarking on pulsed radiofrequency treatment or surgery.
Which Is Best Pulsed Radiofrequency Or Surgery?
Generally the less invasive any procedure is the better for the patient. Surgery obviously carries with it some degree of risk and after any surgery the patient needs time to recover and there is a period of convalescence required in order to ensure that the patient recuperates. Surgery is always seen as the least preferable option, because although it is now extremely safe to undergo surgery if less invasive techniques are available then these will be given preference, since the less invasive techniques require less trauma to the patient and there is very little time required to recover, so these techniques are simply more straightforward for the patient and less inconvenient in terms of being able to be up and about very shortly after the procedure.
Doesn’t Pulsed Radiofrequency Damage The Nerves?
There is no lasting damage to the nerve in question because the pulsed radiofrequency (unlike standard radiofrequency)does not ‘heat up’ the nerve, so the nerve experiences no lasting ill effects.
If you have any other queries about the safety or efficacy of pulsed radiofrequency treatment, please be sure to discuss these further and rest assured that this is a very safe and efficient treatment for meralgia paraesthetica.