If you suffer from chronic back pain, you have a great option for easing your discomfort. Selected dorsal rhizotomy, a neurosurgery, involves irradiating problematic spinal cord nerve roots. The procedure is effective at alleviating chronic back pain and muscle spasms. By interrupting the sensory nerves at the spinal joint, facet rhizotomy can provide lasting relief for spinal joint pain. You do not have to live with chronic pain. In addition to being a longer-lasting treatment, there is a potential for it to be permanent. But even if it is not, it may provide long-term relief from pain, even for over a year.
To disable the nerve and prevent pain signals from reaching the brain, an electrified hot probe is inserted just outside the joint. In the case of a patient who responds well to facet injections, a rhizotomy can provide excellent pain relief. Facet joint rhizotomies use a needle placed on nerves that carry signals from joints. This radiofrequency treatment is an effective therapy at relieving afflicted joints. Electric current burns a nerve that causes chronic back pain during a cauterization procedure. The nerve then no longer sends pain signals to the brain.
Long-Lasting Low Back Pain Option
To keep the facet joint rhizotomy procedure minimally invasive and as comfortable as possible, local anesthesia is used under x-ray guidance. As the needle is inserted into the back, the nerve supply to the joints is targeted in the branch nerves. An injection of local anesthetic is then given to the patient so that there is no pain during the procedure. Electric current is applied to the electrode that is inserted into the needle, which causes the tissue surrounding the needle to heat and cauterize the nerve, preventing it from sending pain signals to the spinal cord and brain.
The rate of success of facet joint rhizotomies in eliminating chronic back pain is 70 to 80%. This usually lasts for a year or more. There is a possibility of nerve regeneration and pain recurrence. If this happens, the procedure can be repeated. This procedure outperforms the older nerve ablation treatment by giving a more reliable, longer-lasting pain control option.
Improved Longer Lasting Pain Relief vs. Injections
Small joints found at the back of the spine are called lumbar facet joints. More than one pair of spinal joints can develop degenerative, or progressive, deterioration over time. Thirty percent of chronic back pain cases are caused by these disorders, and the percentage increases as we age.
There is currently no surgical treatment to replace the facet joints in the back and they are too small to undergo arthroscopic repair. An injection of cortisone provides relief from pain only for a limited amount of time. The pain relief injection typically causes people to experience mild to moderate discomfort for a few days following the procedure of rhizotomy. Afterward, the pain significantly improves or is eliminated. It is most likely that you can reduce your pain medication and resume your normal daily activities.
If you have tolerated back pain, and have exhausted your alternative therapies, you are a great candidate for rhizotomy to provide long-term pain relief for chronic pain. The struggle is real living with daily debilitating pain, but relief is available in Los Angeles. Facet joint blocks and rhizotomies can be performed at the DOCS Surgery center. You don’t have to suffer from chronic pain. The physicians at DOCS Health are here to help you throughout your entire treatment course. They are experts in the field of pain and spine specialties.
For more information or to book an appointment for a consultation with our pain specialists, calls DOCS Health in Los Angeles.