Radiofrequency Neuroablation Procedure
Radiofrequency neuroablation or neurotomy is intended to decrease or stop pain originating from the facet joints of your neck and spine. The radiofrequency neuroablation procedure is usually performed after you have demonstrated pain relief from a “test” injection such as a facet joint or medial branch block injection. During the procedure, an electrode is inserted in the area near the irritated nerve in the facet joint. The electrode heats up a small area of nerve tissue, decreasing pain signals from that specific area. A radiofrequency neurotomy can be performed on the neck, back, coccyx or sacrum areas and can provide pain relief for about one year. The degree and length of relief will vary with each patient. Although uncommon, risks may include increased pain, infection and bleeding.
Last reviewed July 2013 by APM's Medical Executive Committee