Cervical Facet Joint Radiofrequency Denervation Procedure
What is a Cervical Facet Joint Radiofrequency Denervation Procedure?
This is the application of electrical heat energy to a nerve (medial branch nerve) of a small joint (facet joint) between two vertebral bodies of the spine that is the likely cause of your neck and/or upper back pain.
Why is a Cervical Facet Joint Radiofrequency Denervation Procedure helpful?
It is helpful in the treatment of your neck and/or upper back pain, which is likely due to a disorder of your Cervical Facet Joint. Electrical heat energy is used for the procedure. You may or may not experience immediate pain relief after the procedure. It usually takes a couple days for you to experience pain relief. The purpose of this procedure is to disrupt the function of the nerve to the Cervical Facet Joint for your long-term relief of pain.
What happens during a Cervical Facet Joint Radiofrequency Denervation Procedure?
You will be asked to lie on your stomach on the procedure table. (If you choose to have IV sedation, you will not experience most of the following steps of the procedure.) The skin of your neck to be injected will be cleaned with an anti-bacterial solution. You will experience an initial sting at the injection site, as the skin will be numbed with a local anesthetic numbing agent. Then, the doctor will guide the procedure needle by way of real-time x-ray to the target structure of your spine. Next, electrical stimulation testing will be performed for proper needle placement. Then, after numbing the nerve next to the needle tip with a local anesthetic numbing agent, electrical heat energy will be applied for burning of the nerve. This will disrupt the future function of the nerve for pain relief. The procedure will last less than 30 minutes.
What happens after a Cervical Facet Joint Radiofrequency Denervation Procedure?
You will be observed for at least 15 minutes in the recovery room for your response to the injection. Your oxygen level, blood pressure, pulse rate, and respiratory rate will be monitored in the recovery room. You may become a little sore at the soft tissues of the procedure site, which is normal and to be expected. You may apply an ice-pack to the sore area of the procedure site. The soreness at the procedure site should go away in a couple of days. If successful, relief of your neck and/or upper back pain will last from 3 to 18 months, with a typical range of 9 to 12 months. If the first procedure does not completely relieve your symptoms, the recommendation will be to have a repeat procedure. Because this is not a permanent procedure, it will need to be repeated at some point in the future. A follow-up appointment will be made for you.
Can I go to work the next day after a Cervical Facet Joint Radiofrequency Denervation Procedure?
You can return to work the next day.