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This prospective randomized clinical trial evaluated whether the use of radiofrequency energy (RFE) devices for soft-tissue ablation and coagulation cause thermal injury to bone. Fifty patients underwent one of three treatment modalities: electrocautery, monopolar RFE, or bipolar RFE. Preoperative and postoperative magnetic resonance imaging was compared to evaluate for evidence of osteonecrosis. Postoperative MRI of all patients did not reveal any osteonecrosis or subchondral edema. These findings indicate electrocautery, monopolar RFE, and bipolar RFE devices can be used safely for soft-tissue ablation and hemostasis.