If you are not satisfied with the results of injections and blocks for treating your chronic pain, the experts of Central Florida Pain Management may recommend rhizotomy, a type of minimally invasive spine surgery. The procedure has helped our patients in Ocala, The Villages, and central Florida enjoy long-term relief from chronic pain.
What is Rhizotomy?
Rhizotomy is also known as radiofrequency ablation, as it relies on radiofrequency energy to destroy abnormal or damaged nerves. Nerves that do not work properly can send repetitive and frequent pain signals to your brain.
What Are the Benefits of Rhizotomy?
Rhizotomy is recommended for chronic pain that involves the facet joints of the spine. When facet joint injections do not provide our patients with appropriate symptom relief, we may recommend radiofrequency ablation to stop the nerves from emitting pain messages to your brain.
Am I a Candidate for Rhizotomy?
We will determine if rhizotomy is your best option once we review your treatment history and symptoms, as well as perform a thorough examination if you are new to our practice. This process helps us to ensure that you have been given an accurate diagnosis of the type of nerve condition that is causing your discomfort.
How is Rhizotomy Performed?
General anesthesia is not required for rhizotomy. Depending on the group of nerves that are being treated, you lay on your side or stomach for the treatment. Local anesthesia is used to numb the skin. Advanced x-ray technology is used to produce a “live image” of the needle being inserted into the soft tissues to reach the nerve. A short burst of radiofrequency energy is applied to the nerve, and the needle is slowly withdrawn. You may experience a slight sting when the radiofrequency energy is administered. A typical rhizotomy procedure may take one to two hours.
What is Recovery Like After Rhizotomy?
The area may feel tender after the treatment. Please monitor the site closely for any changes to skin color or temperature. Contact us if you notice any unexpected changes to your symptoms, such as tenderness or numbness.
What is the Prognosis After Rhizotomy?
In many cases, the effects of radiofrequency ablation for chronic pain lasts three months to one year. The nerves may regrow, which will result in the return of your chronic pain. We can perform subsequent rhizotomy procedures as needed.
Rhizotomy is a safe and effective minimally invasive spine surgery that destroys overactive nerves. Central Florida Pain Management specializes in rhizotomy for residents of central Florida, including the cities of Ocala and The Villages. Contact us today to schedule a personal consultation with Melissa Alvarez-Perez, M.D.