Radiofrequency Ablation of Painful Spinal Tumors

Procedure Description

Radiofrequency-AblationThe targeted Radiofrequency Ablation is a minimally invasive treatment for painful spinal tumors.  With the use of imaging guidance, interventional radiologists target spinal tumors using a small steerable device that enters the vertebra to deliver radiofrequency (RF) energy to the tumor.  This process destroys the tumor cells, creating a cavity which is then filled with medical grade bone cement, stabilizing the vertebra.

Conditions Treated

Metastatic spinal tumors are the most common type of malignant, or invasive, lesions in the spine.  When a cancer metastasizes to the spine, it disrupts the healthy process of new bone cells replacing old bone cells. Existing bone is often destroyed, with either soft tissue or  dense bone tumors growing where healthy bone should be.

Am I a good candidate?

Patients with painful spinal tumors within the thoracic or lumbar spine might be good candidates for this procedure based on clinical presentation and findings on medical imaging such as CT or MRI.

Procedure Prep

Radiofrequency Ablation is often performed in an outpatient setting and requires only a small incision.  The entire procedure typically takes less than 60 minutes to complete, if a single vertebra is being treated.

Recovery Time

Patients are able to go home in about 3 hours following the procedure… resuming normal activity the following day (24 hours).

First Steps

Consult with your oncologist about the benefits of the Radiofrequency Ablation.

Benefits Comparison

Faster time to pain relief!  Stabilizes fractures associated with tumor growth.  Treats tumor that might not respond to radiation therapy.


Other Information

Radiofrequency Ablation works in conjunction with radiation therapy and does not require the patient to discontinue other cancer treatments.