In order to lessen or remove pain caused from damaged faucet joints, a lumbar radiofrequency neurotomy is performed. Overall, the goal of the procedure is to interrupt the medial branch nerves to stop the signals from being sent out.
Due to the circumstances of the procedure, the patient will receive a local anesthetic beforehand. Using a fluoroscope, the physician then enters a cannula, which is a needle like tube near the irritated medial branch nerve. Once inserted a radiofrequency electrode enters the cannula and is tested by the physician with a weak electric shock. If the electrode is positioned correctly, the stimulation will show without pain to the muscular effects. The heat from the electrode seals the nerve, which stops the pain signals to the brain. There are some instances where the physician has to treat multiple nerves. After the procedure is complete, the physician will remove the electrode and cannula is removed.
For the first week post treatment, there may be an increase in pain but will feel full relief of pain within a month. The length of a successful RF neurotomy usually last longer than a steroid block injections.