Rhizolysis / Radiofrequency Spine facet joints
Rhizolysis is a non-invasive technique that allows treatment of back pain, sometimes through several punctures in the affected spine zone.
Benefits of the intervention
This technique allows treatment of pain originated in the spine joints (cervicalgia, back pain or low back pain) without the need for general anaesthesia or hospital admission. It is indicated in cases of mechanical pain (with movement) in which nerves that stem out from the spine to the limbs are NOT affected. It is based on the existence of nerve endings that transmit the pain from the joints that link two vertebrae, endings which can be altered by means of radiofrequency so that they stop generating the painful impulses that constitute the one and – sometimes – only symptom of degenerative spine disease.
Depending on the area to be treated, 3 or more punctures are made on one or both sides of the spine with special needles, that carry an internal catheter with an active radiofrequency emitting tip connected to a generator. Each of these catheters is placed on one of the joints to be treated under X-ray control. Once the needles are placed, motor and sensory tests are carried out to ensure the correct situation of the active tip so that the treatment can be carried out with complete security. Afterwards, radiofrequency is applied for a few seconds in each joint. The needles are removed and the procedure is completed.
The rhizolysis is performed in the operating room, with the patient in prone position (in cases of lumbar and dorsal pathology) or in supine position (in cases of cervical pain). Local anesthesia of the skin area to be punctured is performed. Before the application of radiofrequency, once the catheters are placed, local anaesthetic is infiltrated in depth on the areas to be treated. The total duration of the procedure may vary depending on the levels to be treated and their accessibility to the puncture. It generally takes 30-45 minutes to complete the treatment. At the end of it the patient leaves the operating room on foot and is able to get back home without special care.