Radiofrequency Lesioning: Treating Neck and Back Pain

Radiofrequency lesioning, also known as radiofrequency ablation, rhizotomy or neurotomy, can treat low back and neck pain, arising from the facet joints of the spine.

Damaged or degenerating facet joints in the spine are the leading cause of chronic low back and neck pain. This is especially common among seniors and those people who have undergone spinal trauma, such as whiplash and people who have been through spinal surgery.

Facets can be seen as the little wings outside every vertebra in the spine. They stabilize the spine yet allow us to bend and twist. These facet joints may become get damaged or worn out and cause pain.

Once your pain management doctor diagnoses that the facet joints are the cause of your back or neck pain, s/he may recommend radiofrequency lesioning for lasting relief.

Radiofrequency lesioning uses radio waves to generate heat. This heat destroys the targeted sensory nerves. Fluoroscopy, or live X-ray, is used to accurately place the needles. The patient is mildly sedated for the procedure. The entire procedure requires about 30 minutes. Once you have been allowed some time to recover, you are allowed to go home the same day.

Radiofrequency lesioning offers lasting pain relief and improvement in motion and function. It also improves quality of life in people suffering from pain due to facet joint degeneration.