Dr. Steven Ferrer and Dr. Kevin McElroy are proud to offer Radiofrequency Ablation as part of their list of interdisciplinary treatment options at Progressive Spine and Sports Medicine in Ramsey, NJ. While we use it most frequently for the treatment of varicose veins and spider veins, Radiofrequency Ablation can also provide relief to people living with restless leg syndrome.
What is Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)?
Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), also known as Willis-Ekbom disease, is a type of neurological disorder hallmarked by a distracting and irresistible urge to move the legs. Symptoms—which include uncomfortable sensations in the legs, often described as aching, pulling, throbbing, creeping, crawling, or itching—generally worsen at night or when a person is trying to rest. Moving the legs ease the symptoms (hence the condition’s colloquial name).
Understandably, people with Restless Legs Syndrom often have a hard time falling or staying asleep—and a lack of sleep (along with other factors such as stress) can worsen symptoms. The exact cause of RLS is unclear, but theories include genetic predisposition and the presence of other underlying conditions such as iron deficiency and end-stage renal disease.
Common treatment approaches for Restless Legs Syndrome include medications and surgically implanted devices such as spinal cord stimulators—both of which are considerably invasive, come with a variety of side effects, and have questionable efficacy. But a growing collection of data now shows that Radiofrequency Ablation is, as the authors of one 2016 case study noted, “neither susceptible to pharmacological tolerance nor exacerbation of RLS symptoms and also less invasive than spinal cord stimulators.”
The Evidence for Radiofrequency Ablation as a Treatment of Restless Leg Syndrome
Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that can be done in a simple outpatient office visit. During the treatment, one of our pain doctors inserts a small tube (known as a catheter) into a superficial vein in the leg. Then an electrical current emitted from a radio wave is sent through the tube. This current heats up the venous tissue and closes off the vein with scarring. In the case of varicose or spider veins, this procedure prevents blood from pooling in the damaged veins, thus minimizing their appearance.
But exciting new research has also shown radiofrequency ablation (applied to either lower extremity veins or lumbar nerves) can reduce the severity and frequency of restless leg syndrome. At least one study found an average of 80% improvement!
Why Our New Jersey Pain Doctors (And Their Patients) Like Radiofrequency Ablation
So far, our Ramsey, New Jersey-based pain management doctors have seen a lot of success with Radiofrequency Ablation for our patients living with restless leg syndrome, leg cramps, and varicose or spider veins. Our pain doctors specifically enjoy utilizing this treatment because it is:
- FDA approved
- Covered by most medical insurance plans
- Suture- and anesthesia-free
Radiofrequency ablation also requires minimal downtime and involves little to no discomfort. Our patients can’t believe how quick and simple it is!
TREATMENT FOR RESTLESS LEGS SYNDROME AVAILABLE AT PROGRESSIVE SPINE & SPORTS MEDICINE
Contact Progressive Spine and Sports Medicine at (201) 962-9199 to schedule a consultation with a Ramsey pain doctor today.