Cervical Rhizotomy

What is a Cervical Rhizotomy procedure?

Rhizotomy is a term that describes the interruption of a spinal nerve, usually to treat pain. Rhizotomy is a minimally invasive procedure to treat neck and back pain resulting from arthritis of the joints of the spine, the facet joints. A rhizotomy is performed after previous injection procedures have confirmed that the facet joint is the cause of pain.

How is a Cervical Rhizotomy performed?

A needle is directed to the nerve that carries nerve signals from the inflamed facet joint. The needle has an electrode at its tip. Energy, in the form of a radiofrequency, is applied to the electrode. This causes heating of the nerve, shutting off painful signals coming from the facet joint. Pain relief lasts 3 to 6 months.

How long will Cervical Rhizotomy procedure take?

The procedure takes 30 minutes to an hour to perform. After the procedure you will recover for about 30 minutes before going home.

What is Cervical Rhizotomy recovery like?

You will walk out the door and go home the same day with pain medications. We advise no strenuous physical activity or heavy lifting for 2 to 3 days. After that, you can resume work and usual activities. Physical therapy and chiropractic care can be resumed immediately.

The 4 Pillars of Treating Chronic Spinal Pain

George Rappard MD discusses the 4 key pillars of spine care. The 4 pillars are physical therapy and chiropractic care tailored to your condition, appropriate selection of medical therapy, pain injections targeting your specific pain source and, as a last result, minimally invasive motion and stability preserving spinal surgery performed as an outpatient procedure. Through effective use of the first 3 pillars only about 5% of our patients need to go on to have back surgery or neck surgery.

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