Rhizotomy Treatment

Rhizotomy treatment is done to treat pain caused by the facet joints by creating a lesion or burn in the pain fibers to the facet joint, also known as the medial branch of the posterior primary ramus. The purpose of radiofrequency lesioning of the medial branch nerves is to decrease pain and improve function. This is done only if pain is relieved temporarily by facet/medial branch nerve blocks.

How does Rhizotomy Treatment Work?

It is accomplished by placing a special needle alongside the facet joint under X-ray control. Following this, a controlled heat lesion is made to decrease the sensation of the facet joints. Nerve testing is performed to verify the proper position of the needle. An intravenous solution may be started so that medications or a short-acting sedative, if necessary, can be given during the procedure.

Rhizotomy treatment will take approximately 20 – 30 minutes. You will then be monitored afterward for an additional 15-30 minutes. After you return home, you may use ice packs to relieve any discomfort. You may have some minor discomfort in the area during the first week following the procedure. Most patients notice an improvement in about 7-10 days but it may take up to a few weeks for you to notice any improvement.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Adjusting to Life With a Spinal Cord Stimulator

Are you interested in knowing more about effective, drug-free relief from long-term pain? Learn what a spinal cord stimulator can do for you and what it’s like to live with one from the experts who treat chronic pain.

The Four Stages of Migraines

Did you know there are stages to a migraine and that understanding them can help form a better treatment strategy? Find out more about the stages of migraines and why identifying which phase you’re experiencing can help relieve your pain.

What is Sciatica and How is It Treated?

Have you been told your back and leg pain is caused by sciatica? You’re not alone. About 40% of the American population experiences problems with sciatica. Find out more about this common disorder from the experts who diagnose and treat sciatica.