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Radiofrequency Neurotomy of Lumbar Facet Treatment

RADIOFREQUENCY NEUROTOMY OF LUMBAR FACETS

RADIOFREQUENCY NEUROTOMY OF LUMBAR FACETS

Radiofrequency Neurotomy of Lumbar Facet: The facet joints are pairs of the small size of joints between two vertebrae located at the back of the spine. The function of the facet joints is to support the spine and allow movement such as bending, flexing, and twisting. The facet joint also acts as a cushion between two vertebrae. It prevents two vertebrae from rubbing against each other.

An injury, repetitive movements, poor posture, and other spine conditions can impact the facet joint and cause pain.

Each facet joint connects to two small medial branch nerves that carry or transmit pain signals from the facet joints to the brain. When pain signals get to the brain, you will start to feel pain.

What is radiofrequency neurotomy?

A radiofrequency neurotomy, also known as radiofrequency ablation, is a non-surgical procedure used to treat facet joint pain. It is a minimally invasive procedure involving radiofrequency heat to destroy the nerve or nerves carrying pain signals to the brain. When the nerves carrying pain signs are destroyed, you will stop feeling pain.

How does radiofrequency neurotomy work?

Each facet joint is attached elected to two medial branch nerves. These medial branch nerves carry pain signals from the facet joints to the brain. When pain signals get to the brain, you will start to feel pain.

If anything goes wrong around the facet joint due to injury, degenerative changes, repetitive movements, poor posture, or any other spine conditions that impact the facet joint, the medial branch nerves immediately carry the pain signals to the brain. When the pain alerts get to the brain, you will start to feel pain.

Radiofrequency neurotomy aims to destroy the nerves carrying pain signals to the brain. When the nerves are destroyed, they cannot carry pain signals to the brain, thereby stopping you from feeling pain.

During a radiofrequency neurotomy, radiofrequency heat is directed at the nerve causing the pain. The heat then destroys the nerve, preventing it from carrying pain signals to the brain.

Radiofrequency Neurotomy of the Lumbar Facets

The joints are the facet joints located at the lower part of the back. The facets at the upper part of the spine are the cervical facets, while the facets at the middle part of the spine are called the thoracic facets.

The lumbar facet joint allows you to twist, turn and bend your lower back. Lumbar medial branch nerves surround the lumbar facet joints. These nerves carry or transmit pain signals and sensations from the lumbar facet joints to the brain.

If the lumbar facet joint gets injured or damaged, the lumbar medial branch nerves will immediately convey the pain signals from the injured facet joint to the brain. The pain signals inform the brain of an injury, making you feel the pain.

Lumbar radiofrequency neurotomy is a procedure in which radiofrequency heat is used to burn or destroy the lumbar medial branch nerve transmitting the pain signals from the injured lumbar facet joints to the brain. When the nerve is burnt, the pain transmission is obstructed. You won’t feel the pain anymore.

Effectiveness of Repeated Radiofrequency Neurotomy For Lumbar Facet Pain

Radiofrequency neurotomy for the Lumbar facet is a very effective pain-relieving procedure. Once the nerve transmitting the pain is burnt, you can experience pain relief for about nine months to two years. You may only start feeling pain again when the burned nerve starts growing back. A nerve may start growing back in 6-12 months after being burnt.

Repeating the radiofrequency neurotomy procedure will ensure that the nerve doesn’t grow back. Repeating the procedure will ensure that you remain pain-free for a longer period.

Risks and Side Effects of Radiofrequency Neurotomy of the Lumbar Facets

There are have some side effects that may occur, including:

  • Numbness
  • Infection on the injection site
  • Allergic reaction to the medications used
  • Bleeding
  • Back pain or burning sensation in the back
  • Temporary increase in nerve pain
  • Neuritis neuroma (Inflammation of a nerve)
  • Failure of the treatment in some people

Preoperative Instructions for Radiofrequency Neurotomy of the Lumbar Facets

Certain instructions should be followed before undergoing radiofrequency neurotomy of the lumbar facets.

  • For at least eight hours before the procedure, do not eat or drink anything.
  • You may need to avoid blood thinners if you are taking blood-thinning medications or medications that could cause excess bleeding, ensure that you let your doctor know before the procedure.
  • If you’re taking medications for high blood pressure or any medications for any heart condition, ensure you inform your doctor before the procedure.
  • Have a very clear bath before coming to the hospital and put on a free cloth.
  • Come with someone that will drive you to return home after the procedure because you won’t be allowed to drive after the procedure.

Radiofrequency Neurotomy Procedure

You will be asked to fib down on your stomach on a procedure table on the day of your procedure. The skin inserted in the injection will be numbed so you don’t feel pain. The doctor will thoroughly clean the skin where the injection will be inserted and mark the area.

With fluoroscopic guidance, a little needle, also known as a radiofrequency cannula, will be injected in the direction of the nerve transmitting the pain signals.

The shaft of the cannula will be secured with defensive protection. This is to ensure that the electric flow goes right into the encompassing tissues from the tip of the cannula.

Once the needle has got to the site where the nerve is located, the doctor will test to confirm that the needle is actually near the nerve transmitting the pain. The doctor will do this test by discharging a small quantity of electric flow through the tip of the needle at two distinct frequencies. When the electric flow or current passes through the needle and into the nerve, you will feel some pain in your back. The pain may move to your buttocks and down the back of your thigh.

This test confirms that the needle tip is near the target nerve. After the position of the needle is confirmed, a local anesthetic will be injected into the area to numb the surrounding area. A radiofrequency wave will then be used to heat the tip of the needle for about 90 seconds to destroy or burn the nerve. When the nerve is destroyed, the pain signal to the brain is disrupted, and you won’t feel pain anymore.

Postoperative Instructions

After the process, you will be taken to a recovery room to lie down for about 30 minutes. A nurse will observe and monitor you. Your blood pressure & pulse rate will be monitored.

  • You will be given recovery instructions to follow. A pain note will be given to you to record your recovery process.
  • You will then be allowed to return home, but someone will need to drive you home.
  • You can resume work or your normal daily activities after two days.
  • After a few days, you may feel soreness or pain in your back where the procedure was done. The pain is normal and usually goes always after a few days.
  • Your doctor may prescribe medication for the pain. Physical therapy and exercises may be advised to help you regain strength and flexibility in your back.

What conditions are treated with a radiofrequency neurotomy?

Radiofrequency neurotomy can be used to treat many conditions causing pain, such as:

  • Chronic pain is caused by arthritis of the spine and sacroiliac joint pain.
  • Facet joint pain.
  • Pain in your neck, back, or knee.
  • Peripheral nerve pain.
  • Cancer pain.
  • Facial pain is caused by trigeminal neuralgia.

Advantages of Radiofrequency Neurotomy of the Lumbar Facets

Advantages of Radiofrequency Neurotomy of the Lumbar Facets

Advantages of Radiofrequency Neurotomy of the Lumbar Facets

  • It is an extremely effective pain-relieving procedure. According to data, more than 70% of patients who undergo radiofrequency neurotomy experience long-lasting pain relief.
  • Fast recovery and minimal downtime. It is a safe process with few side effects.
  • It reduces the risk of invasive surgery.
  • It reduces dependence on painkillers such as opioids.

Disadvantages of Radiofrequency Neurotomy of the Lumbar Facets

The disadvantages of radiofrequency neurotomy are the possible side effects or complications from the procedure. These include:

  • Numbness
  • Infection on the injection site
  • Allergic reaction to the medications used
  • Damage to surrounding blood vessels and nerves
  • Bleeding
  • Back pain or burning sensation in the back
  • Temporary increase in nerve pain
  • Neuritis neuroma (Inflammation of a nerve)
  • Failure of the treatment in some people

Who is the right candidate for radiofrequency neurotomy of the lumbar facet?

Before undergoing radiofrequency neurotomy of the lumbar facet, you must first undergo a lumbar facet nerve block injection procedure. If the pain stops after a lumbar facet nerve block, you are considered an ideal candidate for lumbar radiofrequency neurotomy.

Other criteria that must be met include;

  • You don’t have an infection
  • You don’t have a bleeding problem
  • You are not on blood-thinning medications
  • You’re not pregnant.

FAQs

What is the difference between radiofrequency ablation and radiofrequency neurotomy?

Radiofrequency neurotomy is also known as radiofrequency ablation. There is no difference between them.

How long does a radiofrequency neurotomy last?

Radiofrequency neurotomy can last for as long as nine months to 2 years, depending on how fast the destroyed nerve grows back. You will only start to feel pain when the burnt nerve starts to grow back again. When the nerve grows back, it will start transmitting pain signals to the brain again, and you will start to feel the pain again.

Repeating the procedure helps to ensure that the nerve doesn’t grow back enough to start transmitting the pain signals to the brain. This provides you with longer-lasting pain relief.

What is the success rate of radiofrequency neurotomy of lumber facet?

Radiofrequency neurotomy is a very successful procedure. The procedure is 70-80% effective in people with pain who have successful nerve blocks. This means their pain reduces by as much as 70-80%.

How painful is a radiofrequency neurotomy?

During a radiofrequency neurotomy, the skin area where the injection will be inserted will be numbed to prevent you from feeling pain. However, you may feel a burning feeling in your back during the procedure.

How long does it take to recover from radiofrequency neurotomy?

After a radiofrequency neurotomy, you can resume work or normal activity the next day or the next two days. Recovery is very fast.

Some people may experience immediate pain relief; some may experience pain relief after some days, while it may take three weeks for some others to experience pain relief.

Is radiofrequency neurotomy covered by insurance?

Most insurance providers usually cover radiofrequency neurotomy, especially for people experiencing chronic neck or back pain.

What can you not do after radiofrequency neurotomy of the lumbar facet?

  • You can’t drive for at least 24 hours after your procedure.
  • You’re not allowed to engage in strenuous activities or exercises for the first 24 hours following your procedure.
  • You’re not allowed to take a deep bath or deep yourself in a pool for one to two days following your procedure.
  • Avoid hot water, hot baths, hot tubs, and saunas for at least two weeks following your procedure.

How many times can radiofrequency neurotomy of the lumbar facet be repeated?

A nerve can grow back in 6-12 months after being destroyed. You can repeat the procedure every 6-12 months. There are no limits to the number of times you can have radiofrequency neurotomy.

Southlake Pain Center: Best clinic to get Radiofrequency Neurotomy of Lumbar Facet Treatment in Southlake, TX

Radiofrequency Neurotomy of Lumbar Facet Treatment in Southlake, TX

Radiofrequency Neurotomy of Lumbar Facet Treatment in Southlake, TX

If you’re experiencing chronic pain around your lower back, you may need to book an appointment with us for a complete diagnosis and treatment.

At Southlake Pain Center, we provide revolutionary treatments for pain, including radiofrequency neurotomy. We specialize in providing pain treatments for patients with various types of pain.

We are the best provider of radiofrequency neurotomy in Southlake, TX. We ensure that you enjoy long-lasting pain relief using our comprehensive and effective treatment.

Please book a schedule with us today to start your treatment to enjoy a pain-free life.

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