Radiofrequency Facet Ablation
A facet rhizotomy destroys facet nerve(s) either in the lower back (lumbar) or the neck (cervical) region, using radiofrequency (heat) waves. This procedure is done if you have pain due to disease in the facet joints of your spine, and you have had pain relief from your facet nerve blocks. You will be placed in the prone position. Your back or neck will be cleaned with an antiseptic solution and the skin area will be numbed with a local anesthetic. Fluoroscopy is used to guide the placement of the needle probe to the area of the facet nerve. Radiofrequency waves are transmitted to lesion (destroy with heat) the involved nerve(s). This temporarily stops sensation from that area, which may last for an average of 6 months or more.