This procedure is performed to destroy damaged or degenerated nerves that have been causing pain to a patient for at least six weeks. A variety of disorders can cause nerve pain, however this procedure is used for chronic or irreparable nerve pain. Even if you find that other treatments have not worked in relieving your chronic pain, many turn to laser facet rhizotomy and find it to be the successful procedure.
After the patient is put under anesthesia, the surgeon locates the source of the nerves that are causing the pain using a surgical device called an endoscope. This is a tool that has a video camera attached, allowing the surgeon to see what is happening visually. Combining the use of visual tools as well as guidance from x-ray imaging, a guided laser is used to destroy these damaged or degenerated nerves, thereby destroying the source of the pain.
Laser Facet Rhizotomy can be applied for a wide range of conditions. It can be used for failed back surgery syndrome, facet joint syndrome, facet hypertrophy, whiplash syndromes, failed neck surgeries, arthritis, and bone spurs. To be more specific, it is generally recommended when a patient is experiencing muscle spasms when attempting to move the joints, limited motion in the lumbar spine (located in the lower half of your back), or when pain doesn’t respond to more traditional treatments.
There are many benefits to a laser facet rhizotomy. For one, there is minimal to no blood loss, as the only incision that will have to be made is a small one. Like other minimally invasive surgeries, there is no need to pull back muscle tissue in order to reveal the spine. The pulling would normally put a patient at higher risk for experiencing more pain, damage, or a longer hospital stay after the surgery. Most patients who walk in to have this surgery are able to leave the hospital the same day, and the success rate, as mentioned before, for relieving the patient from pain is high. If you are in the New Jersey area and believe laser facet rhizotomy may be the best choice for your chronic or irreparable nerve pain, contact us at the Spine Institute to see what we can do to help.