Rhizolysis / Radiofrequency Spine facet joints

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.

Technical-medical description

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 intervention

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.

Preoperative measurements

  • Prior assessment at the doctor’s office, which will decide and explain the specifics of the intervention and submit an informed consent.
  • Please provide an exhaustive list of medications being taken regularly (including medicinal herbs) at the time of the operation.
  • The area to be treated should be washed with any antiseptic soap the night before and the morning of the surgery.
  • Do not drink solid or liquid foods during the 8 hours prior to the intervention.
  • Do not carry any metallic objects during the operation (rings, bracelets, earrings, piercings etc)
  • Postoperative care

  • It is possible that, after the intervention, you feel some local discomfort during the first days, which will disappear with the medication indicated by your surgeon.
  • After discharge, you should contact us if you have pain that cannot be treated by the usual means in the intervened area, febrile processes or chills.