Chronic pain is felt through the nervous system. The pain sensation is sent through the nerves to the spinal cord, then delivered to the brain. In some cases, the nerves are responsible for chronic pain. To relieve the pain, the nerves need to be disabled and stopped from delivering the pain message to the brain. One way to stop some types of chronic pain is with a rhizotomy procedure. Allied Pain & Spine Institute provides radiofrequency ablation (RFA) rhizotomies at our facility in San Leandro, CA.
RFA rhizotomy is a procedure that uses electrical heat from radiofrequency energy to impact nerve tissue. There are surgical rhizotomy procedures that remove the nerves, but RFA procedures are less invasive. The RFA rhizotomy is performed through a needle that is inserted next to the targeted nerves sending pain signals to the brain. A probe is inserted into the needle that sends out the RF energy that can destroy the nerve tissue.
RFA rhizotomies are used for treatment of a few different pain conditions. Neck and back pain caused by facet syndrome or arthritis may be relieved with RFA rhizotomy. Other pain conditions that may be relieved with this procedure include cancer and arthritic joint pain.
Minimally Invasive RFA Rhizotomies
During the RFA procedure, patients will have the targeted area numbed with a local aesthetic. Imaging is used to guide the needle to the targeted nerves. A small electrical current is sent through the needle to ensure the correct nerves are impacted. Once the test current is successful, the RFA procedure can be completed.
RFA rhizotomy can be very effective at blocking pain signals to the brain. Altering the nerve pathway does not fix the source of pain, but it can provide relief for the patient. Many patients have relief almost immediately after their procedure, with some soreness or swelling at the injection site that can last a few days. Pain relief can last anywhere from a few months to permanent outcomes.
If you have chronic neck, back, joint or cancer pain, you may be a good candidate for RFA rhizotomy for relief. To learn about rhizotomies for pain relief, contact us at Allied Pain & Spine Institute in San Leandro, CA, to schedule your pain management consultation.