SInce 2008, Dr. Rockmore has been able to treat heel pain from spurs and fasciitis as well as Morton's neuromas without cutting, using radiofrequency ablation.  This treatment often effectively resolves the pain from Morton's neuromas and heel pain from spurs or fasciitis.

 

What is radiofrequency ablation?

Radiofrequency ablation uses an electric current to heat up a small area of nerve tissue to stop it from sending pain signals. It can provide lasting relief for people with pain, especially in the heel or under the ball of the foot near the toes.  

How is radiofrequency ablation done?

First, you’ll be given an intravenous medication to relax you. Or, if you prefer this can be done simply with a local anesthetic.  Then, you’ll lie on your  back on an procedure table.

The doctor will numb an area of your skin with a local anesthetic. Then, he or she will:

  • Insert a thin needle into the area where you feel pain; Dr. Rockmore will often use a sonogram/ultrasound or an x-ray to better pinpoint the exact area.
  • Insert a microelectrode through the needle; Dr. Rockmore may ask if you feel a tingling sensation; this helps your doctor identify the right area for treatment.
  • Send a small radiofrequency current through the electrode to heat your nerve tissue.

Usually, after the procedure you can go home the same day.  The entire procedure is less than one hour.  For patients that choose to stay awake and only use a local anesthestic, they may return to regular activities that day.

How effective is radiofrequency ablation?

Most patients have pain relief after radiofrequency ablation, but the amount varies by cause of pain and location. The relief can last for years.  The published studies suggest nearly 90 % of patients that received this treatment are satisfied with the outcome.

What are the risks?

The risk of complication from radiofrequency ablation is very low. Serious complications, including infection and bleeding at the incision site, are uncommon.

Temporary side effects can include:

  • Tingling or numbness in the treated area.  
  • Swelling and bruising at the injection site.

What happens after the procedure?

You can continue your regular diet and medications immediately.  If you were given intravenous sedatives, do not drive or do any rigorous activity for 24 hours after the procedure. Take it easy. You can return to your normal activities the next day  If you only received local anesthesia, you can resume activities immediately.

Is radiofrequency ablation right for you?

Radiofrequency ablation may be right for you if you have heel pain or Morton's neuroma pain that has not responded to other treatment, such as pain medication and physical therapy.