Facet Joint Radiofrequency Ablation Neurotomy
What is Radiofrequency Ablation Neurotomy?
If you have had temporary relief from a Facet Joint Injection or a Medial Branch Block your doctor may recommend a radiofrequency ablation for more permanent pain relief. This procedure uses radiofrequency energy to generate heat and ‘burn’ or deaden the medial branch nerve so that it does not transmit pain from the facet joint. Pain relief of approximately 8-12 months is expected.
What Happens During the Procedure?
An IV may be started so that some relaxation medication can be given. The procedure is performed using an X-Ray machine. This enables the doctor to see your spine. The procedure is done with the patient laying on a procedure table. After numbing the area of skin with anesthetic medication the physician will perform the procedure. The procedure is minimally invasive and usually takes between 30-45 minutes to complete depending on how many nerves are involved.
What Happens After the Procedure?
After the procedure the patient is brought to the recovery area and monitored for a short period of time to make sure that they are safe to leave. The anesthetic medicine may make you feel some numbness or weakness. This is expected and will wear off within a short period of time. For patient safety and the safety of others a designated driver must accompany the patient and be responsible for getting them home. Patients may return to their normal activities the day after the procedure, including returning to work.
At Oasis Interventional Spine Care all procedures are performed at Chestnut Hill Hospital (Tower Health), which is located at 8835 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19118.