What is it?
Facet joints are pairs of small joints that separate
the vertebra on the back side of the spine in the lumbar
(low back), thoracic (mid back) and cervical (neck)
These joints can become inflamed and painful from either
injuries or arthritic conditions. When facet injections
of local anesthetic and/or cortisone provide a temporary
pain relief, you may be a candidate for a facet neurotomy,
which can provide pain relief lasting up to six months
A facet neurotomy involves destroying the nerves that
relay pain messages from the facet joints. This is accomplished
by using a technology called Radio Frequency Thermal
How is it done?
First, an IV is started and you may be given medicine
for relaxation. Next, while lying on an x-ray table,
your skin will be cleansed and prepared. The needle
will be inserted into the nerve entering the joint.
An anesthetic and steroid medication will slowly be
injected into the area, also prior to the neurotomy.
What to Expect:
You should expect to have a few days of moderate post-procedure
pain. It may take up to three to four weeks before you
are able to determine the procedure’s effectiveness.
Some individuals will experience burning sensations
at the skin which resolve in a few days time, or after
a repeat injection of cortisone.
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