Radiofrequency Facet Joint Ablations
Facet joint pain can be a debilitating experience. Chronic suffers of facet joint pain can find themselves unable to perform simple tasks without extreme pain. Radiofrequency facet joint ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that can provide much needed relief to pain suffers. This relatively short procedure can provide relief for pain suffers for as long as two years.
Process of Radiofrequency Facet Joint Ablation
The facet joints are located along the sides of your vertebrae. As a person ages, the cushion between the vertebrae begins to breakdown, leaving the spine subject to friction. This places additional pressure and stress on the facet joints, resulting in pain.
Radiofrequency facet joint ablation works by heat to the passageway that transmits the signal for pain from the nerves in the back to the brain. Once that passageway is burned, the brain is unable to receive the signal notifying it to feel the sensation of pain. During the procedure:
• You will be given sedation to manage pain during the procedure
• Your medical team will carefully clean your back
• Numbing medication will be provided via local injection
• Using an x-ray for guidance, needles and an electrode will be placed into position
• The position will be verified
• Once verified, the electrode will heat up the sensory nerve, creating a lesion
• The instruments are removed
• Bandages are applied
The procedure is done under local anesthesia during an outpatient procedure. Because open surgery is not used, the procedure has a low risk for complications. You’ll be moved into a recovery area to be monitored. Generally, the time spent in recovery is between one and three hours but varies by individual. Normal activity may be resumed after one to two days.
Selecting Radiofrequency Facet Joint Ablation
There are many benefits of the ablation procedure including:
• Being pain free for up to two years
• Having longer duration of relief than treatment methods that use injections
• Providing greater range of motion
• Being able to perform everyday tasks without pain