Radiofrequency Neurotomy is a facet joint pain treatment procedure wherein a radiofrequency probe is positioned alongside the medial nerves that innervate the facet joints, with the help of fluoroscopic imaging. This procedure involves denervation. It is only carried once the nerves have been determined as the reason of discomfort, which results from their inflammation. The facet joints are responsible for the stability of the spinal column other than providing them with easy movement.
When is it done?
This procedure is generally undertaken to relieve chronic back and neck pain which cannot be treated through medication. Pain resulting from lifting things, or those on one or both sides of the lower back might need this treatment. Medial branch blockages lead to facet joints thus calling for RFN or radiofrequency neurotomy.
- RFN might have a few side effects which are:
- Allergies to the medication used or the local anesthetic
- Numbness around the treated area
- Pain or discomfort around the treated area
This is an outpatient treatment and takes 30 minutes for the completion of the procedure followed by 30 minutes of observation time. It provides relief for about a year and might need to be repeated after that. It is generally advised to go easy on one self with the daily chores once a person has undergone this treatment. Ice pads instead of hot bags must be used for easing out any irritation occurring in the treated area. In cases where the nerves are the only cause of pain, this procedure is believed to provide total relief but in cases where the nerves are one the many reasons for discomfort, the relief might be partial.
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