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Lumbar Radiofrequency Neurotomy

This medical procedure is often referred to as a minimally invasive procedure; the physician utilizes heat emanating from radio waves to provide pain relief from painful facet joints in the lumbar area or the lower back.

This therapeutic medical procedure called radiofrequency rhizotomy, or neurotomy is designed to manage if not remove nerve pain manifestations that failed to respond to a more conservative medical care.

The technique requires terminating the nerves producing the pain with highly localized heat triggered with radiofrequency. By eliminating these nerves, pain signals from the spine going to the brain are blocked. An excellent procedure manages pain with no reduction of nerve function.


The patient lies down on their stomach while getting ready for the procedure.  A medication to relax your nerve is given while the skin and tissue of the back is desensitized using a local anesthetic.

Inserting the Cannula

A cannula is used by a doctor for the procedure, and a fluoroscope, which is a video / x-ray device guides the cannula through the meidal branch nerves up the spine. These tiny nerves brings pain signals coming from the facet joints to the brain.

Treating the Nerves

The doctor pushes an electrode inside the cannula.  A minimal electric shock is used to identify the area.  If the shock simulates the pain, but does not generate any other muscular effects, the position is accurate. Afterwards, the doctor uses the same electrode to heat the nerve, which in turn disrupts the nerves its ability to send pain signals. The procedure can be done with several nerves as required.

End of Procedure

Upon completing the procedure, the physician removes the electrode and cannula.  A small bandage is then placed on the area of the skin where the cannula entered.  Post procedure monitoring will be done, can be a few hours, before you are sent home.  The area of your skin where the injection has been made may still feel sore with back pains after the procedure.  Gradually, pain relief can be experienced in several weeks as you heal.  Relief can be experienced for several months.