Many types of chronic spinal and back pain can be lessened by radio-frequency lesioning, or a facet rhizotomy. Sufferers of conditions such as degenerative disc disease, facet arthropathy, or generalized fact disease may use this procedure to relive pain when all other pain relief methods have failed. Radio-frequency lesioning is an outpatient procedure that interrupts nerve conductions semi-permanently, usually blocking nerves for 6-9 months, during which time the patient does not feel pain in the area affected by the procedure. Radio-frequency lesioning uses a highly specialized machine to interrupt the nerve signals.
The operation takes place in a fluoroscopy room, which is where bony landmarks are identified. This helps physicians to locate the correct nerves. Numbing medication is applied to prevent discomfort when the radio-frequency needle is used. Once the needle is properly positioned, a tiny electrode is inserted in the needle and electrical currents are sent through. Patients may experience a "buzzing" or "tingling" sensation, but not usually pain. The electrical currents, run by a state of the art computer, numbs the nerves to the point where their ability to send pain signals has been interrupted. This stops pain in the affected area, giving relief to the patient.
At AOK Spine and Pain, our goal is eliminate pain as much as possible for our patients while subjecting them to as minimal an amount of invasive surgery possible in their condition. We work hard to come up with a proper diagnosis, treatment, and recovery plans that are in the patient′s best interest.