Novel technique for reducing back pain

Thursday, 07 November, 2019

Novel technique for reducing back pain

Gosford Private Hospital Neurosurgeon Dr Marc Coughlan has introduced a minimally invasive endoscopic radiofrequency denervation for the treatment of back pain in patients on the NSW Central Coast.

Using the technique, radio waves are channelled through a needle inside a long, thin, flexible tube less than the width of a pencil. The needle is guided directly into the affected facet joints of the spine and the radio waves produce small, targeted areas of heat that desensitise the affected joints, thus alleviating the patient’s pain.

Unlike traditional radiofrequency techniques, the revolutionary endoscopic approach includes a video camera, allowing the surgeon greater vision and control and ensuring effective treatment, whilst also allowing the patient to be sedated throughout the procedure.

“This new approach is a win-win for patients,” said Dr Coughlan. “It allows greater control and vision of what is happening during the procedure, providing more accurate treatment and potentially better outcomes for this common source of neck and back pain.”

Developed overseas by Richard Wolf Spine, the endoscopic day procedure usually takes from 60–90 minutes, depending on the patient’s overall health, the extent of the pain and the number of joints involved.

Denervation procedures are typically used after less invasive treatments, including medication, physiotherapy and the use of a transcutaneous nerve stimulation (TENS) machine.

“We’re proud to be leading the way in the provision of high-end, innovative neurosurgical procedures for patients here on the Central Coast,” said Gosford Private Hospital CEO Matt Kelly.

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