-> Radiofrequency Neurotomy
WHAT IS RADIOFREQUENCY NEUROTOMY?
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF RADIOFREQUENCY NEUROTOMY?
Radiofrequency (RF) rhizotomy/neurotomy, is a
therapeutic procedure designed to deaden the nerve to the
painful arthritic joint. Relief of pain can last up to one
WHAT PATIENTS ARE CANDIDATES FOR RF?
RF helps to decrease pain by interrupting the
sensory nerve pathways using a machine called a radiofrequency
generator. The radiofrequency neurolysis uses the
instrument to generate a 500,000 hertz radio wave through a
needle placed onto the nerve. This wave causes the nerve to have
its electrical transmission interrupted which produces long term
HOW IS THE PROCEDURE PERFORMED?
Before you can be scheduled for an RF procedure
you generally must undergo a series of facet
joint injections to verify the exact source of your symptoms.
It the patient responds to the facet joint
injections with pain relief, they are considered good candidates
for RF neurotomy.
WILL THE PROCEDURE BE PAINFUL?
You will be given sonscious sedation through an
IV (intravenous needle) inserted in your arm/hand on your
admission to the facility where the procedure will be performed.
You will be escorted to the surgical suite with the nurse and
asked to lay on your stomach for the procedure . The physician will monitor your blood pressure,
heart rate and respiratory rate (breathing) during the
procedure. The physician will perform the RF by
placing the needle in your back along the location of your
previously determine pain sites. The RF needles will be placed
through the insertion needles and the machine programmed for
your treatment. The Physician usually will inject a small amount
of local anesthetic medication through the needles before
removing them from your back to help minimize pain.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS AND SIDE EFFECTS ASSOCIATED WITH THE
Typically the sedation provided minimizes pain.
The physician will test the nerve during the procedure to ensure
accurate placement of the needle. This stimulation of the nerve along with the
radiofrequency neurotomy may be mildly uncomfortable.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR THE PROCEDURE TO WORK?
The most common side effect is local pain from the
needles. An uncommon side effect is neuritis, a mild to
moderate burning sensation in the leg which usually lasts about
2-4 weeks. More serious but extremely rare risks are bleeding,
infection, nerve injury, paralysis and weakness in the lower
The beneficial effects are usually appreciated
2-4 weeks following the procedure