Turning Off Pain

Thoracic radiofrequency neurotomy is a method for turning off facet joint pain by using heat to create a small medial nerve lesion, thereby impairing that nerve’s ability to transmit the pain signals. Often called a selective thoracic nerve root block, the procedure requires relaxation medicine prior to commencing the procedure, followed by an anesthetic, and is considered to be an outpatient procedure.

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Thoracic Radiofrequency Neurotomy - woman holding her lower back

Thoracic Facet Joints & Pain Facts

The medial branch nerve is a small facet joint between the two vertebral bodies of your spine. It is a likely cause of the pain in your upper/middle back, and/or flank. Thoracic Radiofrequency Neurotomy can be very helpful in treating the pain in your buttocks, lower back, and/or upper leg. This type of pain is generally caused by a disorder in your thoracic facet joint. Your medial branch nerve also controls the small muscles in your neck and low to mid back but does not control any of the muscles in your arms or legs. Two medial branch nerves are connected to the facet joint and they are responsible for carrying signals between the spine and the brain, including pain signals.

Diagnosing Thoracic Facet Pain

You might require special imaging tests to determine if your upper back pain is actually the result of mechanical problems in your thoracic spine and not just a muscle problem like a strain. Your pain will be evaluated with the latest technologies and diagnostic tools that are designed for making an accurate assessment, including x-rays, bone scans, EMG/Nerve testing, and/or MRIs.

Thoracic Radiofrequency Neurotomy - couple talking to a doctor

Thoracic Radiofrequency Neurotomy Results

Thoracic radiofrequency neurotomy usually provides approximately 9 to 14 months or more of pain relief, however, 50 percent of individuals have found that they are actually experiencing as much as two years of pain relief. Many people never experience pain in the area again, however, the nerves can regenerate and, if so, the procedure can then be repeated. The entire thoracic radiofrequency neurotomy procedure usually only requires between 30 and 90 minutes, and you can return home that same day. Please note that, much like other procedures, this particular procedure works especially well for some people more so than others.

Innovative Pain Management

The pain management field is advancing continually, so our goal is always to be at the forefront of new procedures, techniques, and treatments for pain management so that we can help our patients with minimizing and controlling their pain. Exceptional patient care comes from our comprehensive approach to pain care and solutions like thoracic radiofrequency neurotomy. We are a caring organization that is fully committed to providing innovative pain management services for all of our patients via minimally invasive treatment techniques. We have made it our mission to deliver the most advanced diagnostic and therapeutic services to enable our patients to have pain relief, restored function, and renewed hope. So, call today to schedule your appointment and live pain-free.

To learn more about joint injections for the shoulder, hip or knee, contact the Pain & Spine Institute of Joliet, Ill., at 1-888-362-7472 or 815-729-0700.

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