Endoscopic Laser Facet Rhizotomy

This procedure is performed to destroy damaged or degenerated nerves that are causing a patient pain. A variety of disorders can cause nerve pain, however this procedure is used for chronic or irreparable nerve pain. A guided laser is used to destroy damaged or degenerated nerves, thereby destroying the source of the pain.

Conditions

  • Failed back surgery syndrome
  • – Typically known as the phenomenon where a patient is still experiencing back or chronic pain even after their surgery. This is technically not a syndrome, but a catch-all term for whenever something like it – or similar – occurs. This is because other types of surgery like cardiac or knee surgery don’t have any other kind of equivalent. While spine surgery maxes out at a 95% success rate, there is still the chance that the pain will not go away. The success rate of a back surgery is dependent on what kind of pain it is treating for, such as what area of the body and what procedure is being practiced.

  • Facet joint syndrome
  • – Facet joint syndrome is a term used for the common facet joint disorders that can cause back or lower neck pain. Their distinctive feature is that, unlike other disorders associated with back or neck pain, these have little to nothing to do with the nerves on your spinal cord. Instead, the pain of facet joint syndrome is usually caused by inflamed joints. The pain can also come off as random, as a result, some patients may also be led to believe that it is a type of psychological pain not caused by physical factors. It is important to have a spinal expert accurately diagnose if you are experiencing facet joint syndrome, as the symptoms may be mistaken for a type of spinal disorder. The opposite effect can happen as well.

Treatment

  • Using x-ray guidance, the physician makes a small incision and inserts a small tube at the location of a targeted nerve that is exhibiting pain
  • An endoscope, a surgical tool with a video camera attached, is inserted to provide the surgeon views of the medial nerve branches and nerve roots
  • A laser is used to destroy these nerves

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