A Rhizotomy, also known as a Radiofrequency Neurotomy is a minimally invasive procedure to destroy nerve fibers responsible for sending pain signals from the neck or back to the brain.
The nerves can be destroyed by cutting them, or by burning them with a chemical or electrical current.
The patient is awake during the procedure. Medication to calm the patient may be given before and during the procedure. The patient will be positioned so the doctor can access the part of the spine that is giving pain.
The doctor will use X-Ray imaging to precisely place a needle with an electrode tip beside the medial branch nerve. As the electrode heats, the nerve is burnt so it cannot send pain signals to the brain.
A small bandage will cover the site.