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Direct visualized rhizotomy vs radiofrequency ablation

Direct visualized rhizotomy vs. radiofrequency ablation

Direct visualized rhizotomy vs. radiofrequency ablation 1000 667 Dan Lieberman

There are several options available when it comes to treating nerve-based back pain. This type of pain occurs when spinal nerves are pinched or damaged in some way. Two procedures that are designed to relieve nerve-based back pain are direct visualized rhizotomy (DVR) and radiofrequency ablation (RFA). These two treatments are similar in their goal but quite different in their approach. 

What is direct visualized rhizotomy?

DVR is a minimally invasive procedure that’s designed to relieve back pain that’s caused by a problem with the spinal nerves. One nerve issue this procedure is intended to treat is degraded facet joints in the spine that have pinched a spinal nerve. Using this procedure, a surgeon cuts the pinched nerve fibers, and this shuts off the pain signals that these fibers were sending to the brain, which can reduce pain. 

What is radiofrequency ablation?

RFA is another minimally invasive procedure that’s intended to reduce nerve-based back pain. When a patient has RFA, the surgeon will use a special electric-powered tool, and this tool burns the nerve fibers causing the pain. By burning these fibers, the surgeon may be able to stop the nerves from sending pain signals to the brain, and this can lead to pain reduction. 

How are direct visualized rhizotomy and radiofrequency ablation different?

There are several differences between DVR and RFA, but the biggest difference is the permanence of the pain reduction they provide. With RFA, the nerve fibers are burned to reduce pain, but they can heal. If they do heal, they’ll begin sending pain signals to your brain again, and this means your back pain could return. On the other hand, DVR cuts the pain-causing nerve fibers completely, so they won’t be capable of sending pain signals again. 

Phoenix Spine & Joint can help you find effective direct visualized rhizotomy

At Phoenix Spine & Joint, our team is proud to offer many effective treatment options for back pain. One option we can offer you is minimally invasive DVR. Not only can this procedure help reduce your pain, it’s also designed to provide other benefits, such as: 

  • Less time in surgery
  • Faster recovery time
  • Decreasing soft tissue damage
  • Sedation instead of anesthesia in most cases
  • Minimized blood loss
  • High success rates
  • Permanent pain relief
  • Less need for other treatments

Our team can even help you reduce your back pain if you’ve already had an unsuccessful RFA procedure. 

Contact one of our care specialists today for more information or to schedule a free second opinion.