Facet thermal ablation is a spinal procedure recommended for treating advanced arthritic degeneration. If you have exhausted all of your non-surgical treatment options, facet thermal ablation may be an alternative to spinal fusion surgery or other invasive procedures. This treatment can be done with minimally invasive techniques to minimize your recovery time and help you find the pain relief you need to regain the life you once enjoyed before your discomfort.
Patients who undergo facet thermal ablation procedures can expect to be sedated before their orthopedic surgeon makes a small incision in their back to access the spine. Because it is an endoscopic procedure, surgeons can minimize the amount of trauma to surrounding tissues. Minimally invasive techniques allow your doctor to push your soft tissue and muscle aside instead of severing it.
Patients who undergo endoscopic facet thermal ablation typically experience less intensive recovery, and their rehabilitation time is significantly reduced. Once your surgeon has located the irritated nerve that is causing your pain, a special thermal laser is used to vaporize it. With the nerve gone, your symptoms should be relieved.
Once your surgeon completes the procedure, your incision will be closed with surgical staples or sutures. You will spend some time in a recovery room to make sure the sedation effects have worn off and you are feeling okay. After this step, you’ll receive information on how to keep your incision clean and any special instructions or restrictions your doctor wants you to follow.
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For many, facet thermal ablation offers a minimally invasive surgical option compared to open spinal surgeries. Using an endoscopic tool to locate the nerve(s) causing your back or neck pain means less trauma to your body. When conservative treatments fail but you want to avoid a fusion procedure, your doctor may recommend this option. Often, facet thermal ablation is used to help patients begin or progress further in other rehabilitative treatments, like physical therapy.
While you should begin to experience pain relief over the weeks following facet thermal ablation, how long this procedure is effective depends on the individual. You may not experience condition-related pain for several months or more, but this is not necessarily permanent. There is always a chance that the burned-away nerve will grow back, which means another treatment could be recommended should your pain return. Fortunately, this procedure is safe to repeat.
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Many patients who undergo facet thermal ablation suffer from some form of degenerative spine disease. Because our facet joints are particularly susceptible to wear over time, these hinge-like structures and their cartilage can lose their ability to keep the spine stabilized. This can lead to arthritis inflammation, bone spurs, and nerve irritation within these joints. Conditions often treated with facet thermal ablation include:
If you receive a diagnosis of some form of facet disease, many conservative treatments do not involve surgery. If these are not successful in alleviating your pain and you wish to avoid spinal fusion, facet thermal ablation may be appropriate for your condition.
Cartilage loss in facet joints is permanent and cannot be regenerated. Fortunately, this doesn’t mean you have to live with the pain and discomfort associated with a degenerative condition. At NJ Spine & Orthopedic, we work to help you reclaim your life and put an end to needless pain and discomfort with minimally invasive treatment options like facet thermal ablation.
We only entrust state-of-the-art equipment and procedures as we try to help our patients recover faster and live a pain-free life. Our board-certified surgeons and medical experts are successful leaders in the healthcare industry and believe that everyone deserves access to quality care.
Regain your mobility and put an end to chronic pain and inflammation. If conservative treatment methods are not alleviating your spinal stenosis symptoms, it may be time to speak with your physician about facet thermal ablation. Try our free Treatment Finder tool, call (866) 272-9271, or contact us online to begin seeking the best solution to your pain.
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