Radiofrequency Neurotomy Overview
When an individual living in the Tyler, Texas area struggles with chronic back or neck pain, an effective treatment that does not require a painful surgery is necessary. Radiofrequency neurotomy, available at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler, is a procedure that utilizes heat generated by radio waves to target specific nerves that are causing pain. The radio waves temporarily interfere with the nerves’ ability to transmit pain signals. The result is reduced back and neck pain without a surgical procedure.
Back and Neck Pain Associated with Facet Joints and Sacroiliac Joints
The radiofrequency neurotomy procedure is a form of injection therapy designed to treat back and neck pain associated with the spine’s facet joints and sacroiliac joints. These specific types of pain are typically caused by spinal arthritis, other degenerative changes or an injury.
- Facet joints- Pairs of small joints that are located at each vertebral level in the back of the spine. Each facet joint is connected to two medial branch nerves that carry signals from the spine to the brain
- Sacroiliac joints- Joints located at the lowest portion of the spine (between the sacrum and ilium) that are connected to lateral branch nerves that carry pain and other signals to the brain
Why is a Radiofrequency Neurotomy Performed?
A radiofrequency neurotomy is used to reduce chronic pain in the back or neck when more traditional pain management options, such as physical therapy and medications, have failed. This form of treatment is usually recommended in whiplash cases involving the neck, as well as back cases that involve pain that occurs on one or both sides of the lower back, pain that extends into the buttocks and thighs and pain that worsens when twisting or lifting.
What to Expect During a Radiofrequency Neurotomy
There are two primary forms of radiofrequency neurotomy used by pain management physicians to treat back and neck pain. These forms include:
- Medial branch neurotomy that targets nerves carrying pain signals from the facet joints
- Lateral branch neurotomy that targets nerves carrying pain signals from the sacroiliac joints
A radiofrequency neurotomy takes approximately one hour to complete and is performed in-office at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler. Needles are inserted through the skin above the spine with the help of imaging scans. These precisely placed needles allow heat generated by radio waves to be transmitted to the specific nerves causing pain. The radio waves safely and effectively interfere with the nerves’ ability to transmit pain signals, reducing pain and discomfort.
Radiofrequency neurotomy procedures usually alleviate back and neck pain symptoms for about 6-9 months. At that time, patients will need to visit Pain Recovery Center of Tyler for a follow-up procedure.
To learn more about radiofrequency neurotomy and how it alleviates chronic back and neck pain, please contact the Tyler, Texas pain management physicians at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler for a consultation.