Targeted Radiofrequency  Ablation (t-RFA) FAQs

• What is a metastatic spinal tumor?
• What how do I recognize metastatic spinal tumor symptoms?
• What are the potential benefits of targeted Radiofrequency Ablation (t-RFA)?
• Are there spine tumor ablation risks that should concern me?
• Is t-RFA right for me?
• How long does t-RFA take?
• How soon after the procedure can I resume my normal activities?

What is a metastatic spinal tumor?

A metastatic spinal tumor can occur when cancerous cells have spread from a primary location in the body, such as the breast, lung, or prostate, and grow in the vertebrae of the spine or the spinal cord.

How do I recognize metastatic spinal tumor symptoms?

Metastatic spinal tumors can often cause severe back pain, numbness, or even paralysis.  The onset of pain may be mild but can rapidly increase. Using X-ray, CT and MRI images of your spine, your physician can help you understand if a metastatic spinal tumor is the cause of the pain in your back and/or extremities.

What are the potential benefits of targeted Radiofrequency Ablation (t-RFA)?

Meaningful pain relief and focused tumor destruction may be achieved in a single t-RFA procedure, often in an outpatient setting.

Performing the t-RFA procedure with the STAR System, physicians have the ability to access spinal tumors that were previously difficult to reach.  Through a small incision, physicians can create site-specific treatment zones within the vertebral body.

Compatible with systemic therapies, t-RFA expands the range of treatment options for patients with painful spinal tumors.

Are there spine tumor ablation risks that should concern me?

The STAR™ Tumor Ablation System is indicated for palliative treatment in spinal procedures by ablation of metastatic malignant lesions in a vertebral body.
Like all surgical procedures, radiofrequency ablation involves risks, and it is not appropriate for all patients. You should discuss potential risks and benefits of the procedure with your physician. For full risk disclosure, click here.

Is t-RFA right for me?

You’ll need to talk with your physician and, together, determine if you are a candidate for the t-RFA procedure.

How Long does t-RFA take?

The entire procedure typically takes less than 60 minutes and can often be performed in an out-patient setting, meaning that an overnight hospital stay may not be required.

How soon after the procedure can I resume my normal activities?

Recovery times for a minimally invasive procedure, such as the t-RFA procedure using the STAR Tumor Ablation System, are measured in hours and days rather than weeks and months.  However, recovery time for each patient will vary. Your physician will monitor your progress and, together, will help you determine when you can return to your normal activities.