What is a Rhizotomy?
A Rhizotomy (also known as a Radiofrequency Ablation) is a nonsurgical procedure used to treat back, neck or pain in the extremities that originates in the spinal nerves or the joints at the back of the spine, known as the facet joints. As spinal nerves are irritated they send pain signals to the brain which then sends these pain signals back throughout the neck, back, arms or legs.
A Rhizotomy works by turning off these nerve signals using a small needle and heat that is applied directly to the spinal nerve. Once the nerve is heated to a specific point, it is no longer able to transmit these pain signals and symptoms are alleviated.
At OSS Health, our Board Certified Spine Specialists are experts in Rhizotomy procedures and have helped thousands of patients return to an active and healthy lifestyle after this procedure.
How is Rhizotomy Performed at OSS Health?
At OSS Health, a Rhizotomy only requires local anesthesia and is performed on an outpatient basis so that you can return home the same day as your procedure.
During a Rhizotomy:
- A small area of the skin near the spinal nerve is numbed.
- A small needle is inserted near the spinal nerve using real time X-ray guidance (known as fluoroscopy).
- Once needle placement has been confirmed, electrical impulses are passed through the needle to heat the nerve.
- The needle is then removed and the area is covered with a small bandage.
During the procedure, most patients feel either nothing or only a mild warm sensation in the area around the needle.