When a patient is experiencing pain, we want to treat it in the most effective way possible. We also want to treat it with the least of our procedures whenever possible. If a patient can experience relief with cryotherapy and personal training, that is a great outcome. However, Republic Pain Specialists understand that every patient and their pain is different, and, more often than not, more technical procedures need to be performed. Rhizotomy is one of the dozens of options we offer to relieve your pain.
What is it?
Rhizotomy is a minimally invasive option to relieve pain in patients. We use a specific type of rhizotomy called radiofrequency ablation, in which a heat current is used to disable the nerves sending pain signals to the brain. By stopping this transmission, patients immediately feel pain relief and have little to no recovery time. As there is no transmitting of pain signals, pain medication and surgery can frequently be avoided, and improved function happens quickly, allowing for day-to-day living to take place, and any physical therapy or exercise that may help the issue causing pain. According to Johns Hopkins, "rhizotomy provides immediate pain relief that can last up to several years until the nerve recovers and is able to transmit pain again."
What can it help?
Because the procedure is specifically targeting the nerves that are transmitting the pain signals rather than the source of the pain, there are several issues rhizotomy can help with. If there is significant pain in the joints, whether from arthritis or some other condition, this may be a good option. Back pain and neck pain are common throughout the population, and many patients feel a large amount of pressure due to their pain, which rhizotomy can help with. Some abnormal muscle tightness, like spasticity, or conditions impacting the peripheral nerves may be treated with this procedure as well. Every patient and their pain are different, so we would discuss this option with you if we felt it was a good avenue to pursue.
Issues and concerns
The procedure only takes a few minutes, and recovery is generally a short time to observe and make sure there are no reactions from anesthesia. Most patients go home and return to work within a day or two, now pain-free. There may be some numbness around the area or some swelling. Rhizotomy will not be an option for all our patients, and we will discuss all concerns with you in detail well before your procedure.
If you are experiencing pain, we know you want relief. Republic Pain Specialists have multiple treatment options to choose from to get you that relief; most patients will benefit from a couple, including lifestyle changes and minimally invasive procedures to increase their function and comfort. To set an appointment, contact us today.