What is it?
A radiofrequency neurotomy interrupts the sensory nerve supply to the involved facet joint through the use of thermal denervation. After a local skin anesthetic is applied, the physician uses fluoroscopy (x-ray) guidance to place special radiofrequency needles alongside the nerves that supply the inflamed joint. After testing to ensure that the needle is in the correct position, thermal energy is applied and the nerve is deadened.
How Long does the Procedure Take?
Radiofrequency neurotomy is performed on an outpatient basis. The procedure typically requires 30 minutes, including preparation time.
What are the Expected Results?
Radiofrequency has been performed safely for many years with excellent outcomes. You may have a sore back or neck for one to two days. It is recommended that you take it easy on the day of procedure, but return to usual activities the following day. The benefit from this procedure will typically occur within 2 weeks. Successful neurotomy typically provides relief for 6 to 12 months, and for some up to two years and beyond.