Rhizotomy, also known as radiofrequency ablation (RFA), is a medical procedure used to treat chronic pain. It involves the use of heat generated by radiofrequency waves to disrupt or disable the nerves that are responsible for transmitting pain signals to the brain.
The procedure is typically performed under local anesthesia and involves inserting a thin needle through the skin and into the affected area near the nerve responsible for the pain. An electrode is then passed through the needle and positioned near the nerve. Radiofrequency waves are then used to heat the tip of the electrode, which generates heat that disrupts the function of the nerve.
The goal of rhizotomy is to provide long-lasting pain relief, and it is often used to treat conditions such as chronic back or neck pain, arthritis, or nerve damage. The procedure can be performed on an outpatient basis, and patients are often able to return to their normal activities shortly after the procedure.
While rhizotomy is generally considered safe, there are some potential risks and side effects, such as bleeding, infection, nerve damage, or allergic reaction to anesthesia. It’s important to discuss the potential risks and benefits of rhizotomy with a healthcare provider to determine if it is a suitable treatment option for your specific condition.« Back to Glossary Index