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11May

What is Lumbar Facet Radiofrequency Neurotomy?

Pain Management, Back Pain | | Return|

When you have to battle back pain, day after day, it can be extremely difficult to carry out even the simplest everyday tasks. What is more, it is easy to become discouraged, when nothing you have done to find relief seems to work. Do you suffer from chronic lower back pain and have failed to find results from treatments? Here is what you need to know about lumbar facet radiofrequency neurotomy, along with some considerations and warnings.

What is Lumbar Facet Radiofrequency Neurotomy?

Maybe you know someone who's had a lumbar facet radiofrequency neurotomy procedure, but you're not quite sure what it is. Put simply, this treatment, also known as radiofrequency ablation or RFA, is a non-surgical, outpatient procedure for relieving nerve pain that originates from the damaged facet joints. It is your facet joints, which are at the back of your spine between the vertebrae, that give you support when you bend, twist or flex. The procedure uses heat from radio waves for targeting affected nerves so that these specific nerves are no longer able to transmit pain.

What to Expect Before and During Lumbar Facet Radiofrequency Neurotomy?

Before going to your appointment, arrange for someone to drive you home after your procedure. After donning a hospital gown, you will lie on your stomach on the procedure table.

Before going to your appointment, arrange for someone to drive you home after your procedure. After donning a hospital gown, you will lie on your stomach on the procedure table.

Needles are inserted through the skin near the area of pain so that radio waves can be delivered to the nerves. Furthermore, imaging scans are used during the treatment for ensuring that the needles are correctly positioned. The procedure only takes about 30 to 90 minutes.

What is the Recovery like After Lumbar Facet Radiofrequency Neurotomy?

After your procedure, you will be transferred to a recovery room where your vital signs will be constantly monitored. It is possible you may experience a slight sunburn sensation or mild skin numbness.

Home care may include using ice packs for reducing possible swelling that may occur on the injection site. About one to two days following your procedure, you will be able to take warm showers as they are preferred over baths. Before resuming your normal routine, you should rest for a few days.

What are Common Symptoms Indicating Treatment with Lumbar Facet Radiofrequency Neurotomy?

It is important to be aware of the common symptoms that could suggest you may need this treatment. Even though the symptoms usually are not that severe, they may continue for several weeks or become bothersome. Besides lower back pain, there are other signs, such as:

  • Pain when you walk, sit, or stand
  • Lower back stiffness
  • Pain that radiates into your buttocks and back of your thigh
  • Finding it hard to arise from a chair or straighten your back
  • A tingling sensation as well as weakness, numbness, and pain in the lower extremities

Considerations Before Lumbar Facet Radiofrequency Neurotomy

  • A study done at the University Hospital of Berne, involving 44 patients who had the procedure, showed a pain reduction of 50 percent or more six months to one year, following their therapy.
  • Older people are more prone to facet joint syndrome because of the deterioration of the cartilage in their facet joints.
  • This procedure is not for people with bleeding issues or those who have active infections.
Pain Center San Diego Lumbar Facet Radiofrequency Neurotomy

Find Relief from Chronic Pain at The Pain Center

You do not have to settle for chronic pain. Our professionals at The Pain Center understand that our patients need a personalized approach to their pain. Our doctors specialize in back and neck pain. We keep up with the latest research to provide you with the best care.

Our goal is to empower our patients and give them the information they need to make a decision they feel confident about. If you are wondering if Lumbar Facet Radiofrequency Neurotomy is right for you, talk to one of our experts by contacting our office for a consultation.

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Our entire practice revolves around helping patients feel better. Pain is a fact of life until it interferes with the joys of living. Sandra Thompson, MD, and The Pain Center San Diego have innovative and comprehensive solutions to all forms of discomfort.

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Dr. Thompson believes that life is to be enjoyed and that every effort should be made to minimize or eliminate pain. She offers a wide range of pain management alternatives.

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