What is direct visualized rhizotomy surgery?

What is direct visualized rhizotomy surgery? Phoenix Spine & Joint

Chronic back pain has many different causes. Most people do not really know what’s causing their back pain. However, most of the time your back pain is caused by a problem with a joint, disc or pinched nerve root.

The first 12 weeks after back pain starts, most doctors prefer to treat spinal conditions with noninvasive methods, like medication or therapy. If you’ve had pain for more than 12 weeks, these treatments are not enough. When back pain lasts longer than 12 weeks, you may need direct visualized rhizotomy surgery.

What is direct visualized rhizotomy?

One of the main culprits of spinal pain is osteoarthritis. This condition causes the cartilage in the facet joints of your spine to break down. This pain grows worse over time without treatment.

In direct visual rhizotomy surgery, your surgeon can help reduce your pain by severing the nerve root branches in the facet joints of your spine. A good way to think of this procedure is it’s like a root canal. The surgeon is not removing the bones or joint, but is simply severing the end nerve that transmits pain signals to your brain.

The direct visualized rhizotomy procedure is quick, and its recovery times are short. It is a good alternative to spinal fusion or radio-frequency ablation  for treating back pain caused by tender joints. Your doctor will examine your condition to determine if you’re a good candidate for direct visualized rhizotomy.

Is direct visualized rhizotomy safe?

Direct visualized rhizotomy is an ultra-minimally invasive procedure. The surgeon makes a small incision near your spine that is no bigger than a few millimeters. Since the incision is so small, there is very little blood loss from the procedure, and there is minimal damage to your muscles.

Direct visualized rhizotomy provides your surgeon with a direct visual of the damaged facet joint and its nerve branches. This reduces the margin of error in selecting the wrong nerve branches based off of X-ray images, which is what traditional rhizotomy with radiofrequency ablation entails.

Plus, most patients who undergo direct visualized rhizotomy do not require general anesthesia, which carries its own risks. Instead, doctors give direct visualized rhizotomy patients a sedative to numb the pain from the procedure.

Contact Phoenix Spine & Joint for direct visualized rhizotomy surgery

Our surgeons at Phoenix Spine & Joint have many years of experience in performing direct visual rhizotomy surgeries. Our patients are able to walk within an hour after their procedure. Many return to work the next day.

Would you like help reducing the pain in your spine related to osteoarthritis or other spinal conditions? Contact our team today to learn more about direct visualized rhizotomy or schedule a consultation.

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