Radiofrequency Neurotomy


Radiofrequency neurotomy or Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive procedure performed to reduce back and neck pain. It uses heat generated by high frequency radio waves to target or damage specific nerves and temporarily disrupts the transmission of pain signals from the facet joint to the brain. The target nerve is identified by providing local anesthesia before radiofrequency process. The nerve that responds well to the injection and reduces pain is generally ablated. The most commonly targeted nerve is medial branch nerve.

It may take few days to weeks for the best results to be observed by patient. The only disadvantage is that regeneration of nerve takes place. So the process is to be repeated once in every 6 months.

Indications for Radiofrequency Neurotomy

  • Failed medial branch nerve injection

  • Facet joint pain

  • Sacroiliac joints pain

  • Neck pain

  • Back pain

Types of radiofrequency Neurotomy

  • Medial branch neurotomy (ablation) affects the nerves carrying pain from the facet joints

  • Lateral branch neurotomy (ablation) affects nerves that carry pain from the sacroiliac joints

Advantages of Radiofrequency Neurotomy

  • Quick procedure

  • Does not require hospitalization

  • Reduces chronic neck and back pain that hasn’t responded to other means, such as medications or physical therapy

  • Significant and longer lasting pain relief (up to 2 years)

  • Low complication and morbidity rate

  • Greater range of motion

  • Improved quality of life

  • Short recovery time