Targeted Radiofrequency Ablation (t-RFA) with the STARTM Tumor Ablation System

A targeted Radiofrequency Ablation (t-RFA) procedure performed with the STARTM Tumor Ablation System is a dramatic step forward in the palliative treatment of metastatic spinal tumors. Accessing the tumor often requires only local anesthesia with conscious sedation and a small incision. The entire procedure typically takes less than 60 minutes to complete, and is often performed in an outpatient setting.

Procedure Overview


During a t-RFA procedure, the tumor is approached in a uniportal manner with a series of navigational osteotomes and the steerable SpineSTAR™ Ablation Instrument. Together they enable targeted, precise access to the metastatic spinal tumor.



Once positioned appropriately, the active electrode of the SpineSTAR Ablation Instrument is extended, and targeted RF energy is delivered.


 Temperature measuring thermocouples located within the SpineSTAR Ablation Instrument monitor real-time ablation zone development, enabling informed intra-operative decisions.




When ablative temperatures have been reached and procedural goals have been met, the pedicle access may be closed or used for additional physician-determined treatments.

 Patients undergoing radiofrequency ablation are subject to risks associated with surgery including complications from anesthesia/sedation, as well as bleeding, bruising, pain and infection. Additional complications could include: blood clots, collapsed lungs, and damage to normal tissue, nerves, the spinal cord or other structures resulting in injuries including paralysis.

The STAR Tumor Ablation System does not treat cancer.  It is indicated for palliative treatment (i.e., pain relief) in spinal procedures by ablation of metastatic malignant lesions in a vertebral body.

The STAR Tumor Ablation System is contraindicated for:
• lesions in the cervical levels of the spine.
• patients with pacemakers or other electronic implants.

Not every patient is a candidate for t-RFA. For full risk disclosure, click here.