The facet joints within the spine are often a major source of back pain for many back pain sufferers. One treatment option is a facet rhizotomy. The goal of a rhizotomy is to provide back pain relief by using a heat radiofrequency therapy to “shut off” the pain signals that the joints send to the brain. This procedure is often successful in achieving this and is usually recommended once injections and other therapies have been tried. Using a local anesthetic and x-ray for guidance, a small insertion is made in the skin and a needle with an electrode is placed near the small nerves to the facet joint. The electrode is then heated (known as radiofrequency) and is placed on the nerves to deaden the ones that carry pain signals to the brain. For most patients, the pain relief following a rhizotomy procedure can last months. The pain relief experienced by most patients who have this procedure lasts months or even years.
About the Author: Donald Corenman, MD, DC
Donald Corenman, MD, DC is a highly-regarded spine surgeon, considered an expert in the area of neck and back pain. Trained as both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Corenman earned academic appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his research on spine surgery and rehabilitation has resulted in the publication of multiple peer-reviewed articles and two books.