Lumbar Radiofrequency Neurotomy This minimally-invasive procedure, also called radiofrequency (RF) rhizotomy, reduces or eliminates the pain of damaged facet joints by disrupting the medial branch nerves that carry the pain signals. This procedure is performed with local anesthetic.
Lumbar Radiofrequency Neurotomy Overview – What is Lumbar Radio Frequeny Neurotonomy?
This minimally-invasive procedure, also called radiofrequency (RF) rhizotomy, reduces or eliminates the pain of damaged facet joints by disrupting the medial branch nerves that carry the pain signals. This procedure is performed with local anesthetic.
This procedure is used to treat patients suffering from pain in their sacroiliac joint (SI joint). It is also used as a diagnostic tool in that it helps therapists locate the source of pain that may or may not be emanating from the SI joint.
The SI joints, which are in your lower back, connect your spine to the pelvis, and thus, the entire lower half of the skeleton. Although these joints are small and don’t move very much, they perform a critical role in the body. They help absorb all of the damaging shock forces of the upper body before balancing and transmitting their weight to the hips and legs. When these joints become inflamed or irritated, they may cause pain in the lower back, buttocks, abdomen, groin or legs.
A needle-like tube called a cannula is inserted and positioned near the irritated medial branch nerves. An X-ray or fluoroscope is used to help position the cannula properly.
A radiofrequency electrode is inserted through the cannula. The surgeon tests the electrode’s position by administering a weak electric jolt. If the stimulation recreates the pain without any other muscular effects, the electrode is positioned correctly.
The surgeon uses the electrode to heat and cauterize the nerve. This disrupts its ability to communicate with the brain, blocking the pain signals. The surgeon may treat multiple nerves if needed.
End of Procedure
After the procedure, the electrode and cannula are removed. Although pain may increase for the first week after the procedure, the patient usually has full relief from pain within a month. Successful RF neurotomies can last longer than steroid block injections.
Jacksonville Pain Clinic and Lumbar Radio Frequency Neurotonomy Procedure.