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Medial Branch Rhizotomy With Pulsed Radiofrequency


This is similar to the Conventional Facet Neurotomy; except that pulsed radiofrequency waves are delivered at a lower temperature (just three to five degrees over body temperature). It is thought that by avoiding the burning, that less damage to the nerve is done, and that there are fewer tendencies for the nerve to want to regenerate. In addition, the pulse radiofrequency creates an Electro-magnetic field that may reprogram the DNA in the nerve to stop pain transmission. This technique was recently FDA approved.


The neurotomy takes 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the number of levels to be done. The patient is then recovered in the observation area for 30 minutes to 1 hour.


Increased localized back pain and/or neck pain can be expected from several days to two weeks and rarely beyond this. There is less nerve damage potential than the conventional neurotomy and thus in my opinion it is the procedure of choice. It may be in the DNA or other structures of the nerve are scrambled, as opposed to the whole nerve being burned with conventional radiofrequency.

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