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Radiofrequency Rhizotomy

Offered as an outpatient procedure, radiofrequency rhizotomy of the facet joints involves the use of a heated, insulated needle with an exposed tip. The needle is inserted in very close proximity to the small nerve branches that supply the painful joint. Needle placement is confirmed with the use of x-ray guidance. Once the needle is in place, a small electric current travels through the needle to make sure it is in the exact location. Then, radiofrequency waves are used to disconnect the nerve tissue to disrupt pain signals. The pain will generally resolve within a few days of having this procedure.