Radiofrequency Neurotomy

Radiofrequency Neurotomy of the Lumbar & Cervical Facet Joints

This procedure uses heat from radio waves to treat painful facet joints in your cervical and lumbar spine, or lower back. It eases pain that isn’t helped by medications or physical therapy.


To begin, you lie on your stomach. You may be given medicine to relax you. We numb tissue of your neck or lower back, depending on where your pain is located. Next, we guide a tube called a “cannula” into your spine. A video x-ray called a “fluoroscope” helps guide the tube to the medial branch nerves. These tiny nerves carry pain signals from your facet joints to your brain.

Treating the nerves

Now, we push an electrode through the cannula and down to these nerves. We test its position with a weak jolt of energy. If this recreates your pain, we know it’s in the right place. Then, we heat the nerves with radio waves. Heating them blocks their ability to carry pain signals. We may need to treat several nerves.

End of procedure

When it’s done, you get a small bandage on your skin. You’re watched in a recovery room for a brief time. Then, you can go home. You may feel sore, and you may still have neck or lower back pain, but you’ll gradually feel pain relief. This can take several weeks.

Consult with a Doctor

If you are having neck or lower back pain, call our office today for a consultation. Our physicians can determine which type of treatment is best for you. (855) 77-SPINE