Medtronic OsteoCool™ RF ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that allows your doctor to deliver ablation energy to the precise size and location of your tumour. It uses alternating, low power current to generate heat during the procedure. The heat is delivered by a probe to the tumour to intentionally dry out and kill cancerous cells. 

Find out more about OsteocoolTM RF Ablation


  1. Before the procedure, your doctor will take an X-ray, CT scan, or MRI to identify the exact location of your pain
  2. Your doctor will decide if local, moderate, or general sedation is the right option for you.
  3. Your doctor will make one or two small incisions in your skin, about 1cm long, near the location of the tumour. Sizing tools are used to create small pathways in the bone for the RF ablation probes.
  4. The RF ablation probes are inserted and the OsteoCool™ system is turned on. Energy is emitted for 6.5 to 15 minutes per affected area to dry out and kill cancerous cells.
  5. If the tumour is located in your spine and you also have a vertebral compression fracture, you may have a vertebral-stabilizing procedure, called vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty. This procedure can be done at the same time your tumour is treated, using the same incision points.
Incision sites after OsteoCool RF Ablation.



Cory was treated with OsteoCool™ RF ablation for her cancer pain.

Learn about the benefits

The OsteoCool RF Ablation system offers several benefits:

  • It is a minimally invasive, palliative treatment option for treating painful bone tumors, including benign and painful metastatic lesions.
  • Your doctor is able to match the ablation energy to the size and location of the tumor in the spine, allowing him or her to plan the procedure properly.
  • Liquid pumped through the electrodes to control temperature minimizes damage to surrounding healthy tissue.
  • Vertebral body tumors of almost any shape can be treated.
  • Safety: the ability to map and predict your ablation before treatment using X-rays.
  • Since two OsteoCool RF ablation electrodes can be used simultaneously, the system can be used to support many types of ablation scenarios, meeting the unique needs of patients.
  • Ability to treat hard-to-reach lesions using two ablation electrodes via an identical approach due to the system's built-in algorithm.


Remember to always talk to your doctor about the benefits and potential complications and risks for any procedure. The OsteoCool™ Pump Unit is used with other components of the OsteoCool™ RF Ablation System in RF lesion procedures. Adverse events associated with the use of this device are similar to those indicated for medicated and anesthetic methods utilized in other surgical procedures.

  • As a consequence of electrosurgery, damage to surrounding tissue through iatrogenic injury can occur.
  • Nerve injury including thermal injury, or puncture of the spinal cord or nerve roots potentially results in radiculopathy, paresis, and paralysis.
  • Pulmonary embolism.
  • Hemothorax or pneumothorax.
  • Infection including deep or superficial would infection.
  • Unintended puncture wound including vascular puncture and dural tear.
  • Hemorrhage.
  • Hematoma.
  • Pain.


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Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.