Radio-frequency treatment therapy is used to help patients obtain pain relief, often when more conservative methods such as anti-inflammatory medication have not been beneficial. The Simplicity procedure is used for intractable sacroiliac joint pain and this can avoid invasive surgical procedures such as fusion of the joint. Radiofrequency consists of an electrical current produced by a radio wave, which is applied to the area to be treated. When this current is applied to small areas of nerve tissue the tissue heats up and pain signals are disrupted and reduced. This procedure offers very good pain relief for patients varying in length from months to years in some cases.
The procedure is performed in outpatient theatre and there is no need for an overnight stay. Fluoroscopic (X-ray) guidance is used to ensure safety and accuracy. Patients can be in and out within a few hours ensuring minimal time away from work and home. Radiofrequency treatment can cause temporary inflammation and extra pain relief medication should be taken for a couple of days afterwards.