A radiofrequency neurotomy is a non-surgical procedure that is used to help relieve chronic back pain or pain that has lasted for more than three months and has not improved with medication or physical therapy. The procedure is minimally invasive and involves using heat to destroy the nerve responsible for the pain. Because the procedure is minimally invasive, patients are usually able to go home the same day of the procedure.
If you are struggling with persistent back pain that isn’t resolving with time, medication, or physical therapy a radiofrequency neurotomy may be a viable option for managing your pain. Contact your local NJ Spine & Orthopedic branch to determine if this procedure is right for you.
Most commonly, the nerves located in the spine are the culprits of chronic back pain. These nerves can be located in the vertebrae, ligaments, and joints in the spine and send pain signals to the brain. However, most commonly, the pain originates from the facet and sacroiliac joints.
Your facet joints are located between the vertebrae in your spine and help provide structural support. These pairs of small joints provide the spine with flexibility and assist with movements of the back like twisting and bending. The medial branch nerves are two nerves connected to the facet joints that tell your brain when there is pain originating from these joints. Your sacroiliac joints are located at the bottom of the spine directly above your tailbone. Attached to the sacroiliac joints are lateral branch nerves that also send pain signals to the brain when there is pain in these joints.
A radiofrequency neurotomy procedure aims to treat the pain in these joints by targeting the lateral and medial branch nerves. During the procedure, heat is applied through an electrical current that travels through a needle that has been inserted into the affected nerves. This heat is only applied to the damaged nerves to ensure surrounding nerves are not damaged.
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A radiofrequency neurotomy is most effective at treating patients suffering from long-lasting back and neck pain caused by joint degeneration. This means if you suffer from osteoarthritis—a condition that causes the cartilage in between your joints to wear away— you could be a prime candidate for a radiofrequency neurotomy. Additionally, individuals suffering from back pain as a result of a car accident or other traumatic injury are usually good candidates for this procedure. The best way to determine if you are a good candidate for a radiofrequency neurotomy is to consult a skilled spine specialist.
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If you have been using conservative treatments for your leg or back pain but aren’t seeing results, it may be helpful to consult a spine surgeon to see if a radiofrequency neurotomy is right for you. At NJ Spine & Orthopedic, our surgeons are dedicated to treating your pain and helping you get your life back.
Our experienced and board-certified neurologists, neurosurgeons, and orthopedic specialists work together to treat spine and back disorders with minimally invasive techniques. Our doctors understand that every person is unique and requires a personalized treatment plan. At NJ Spine & Orthopedic, we treat people, not patients. To schedule an appointment with one of our skilled spine experts, call (866) 272-9271 or complete our online contact form.
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