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Cervical Facet Radiofrequency

Cervical Facet Radiofrequency Neurotomy

When you are experiencing pain in the cervical portion of your spine (in the upper neck area), it can be debilitating. Every time you move your head, you may feel sore or severely experience pain. That can limit your range of motion and ability to complete daily activities. Our spine team at New York Spine Specialist is here to help you eliminate that pain through an advanced technique called cervical facet radiofrequency neurotomy.


During this minimally-invasive procedure, the physician uses heat from radio waves to treat painful facet joints in your neck. This procedure is also called radiofrequency rhizotomy. It can treat pain that doesn’t respond to medications or to physical therapy.


The spine comprises three sections: cervical, thoracic, and lumbar. The cervical section is the uppermost portion and includes seven vertebrae located in the neck. These vertebrae are connected by a pair of facet joints that provide stabilization and the opening between all of the bones of the spinal cord from the spinal canal.

Over time, the facet joints are subjected to wear and tear, resulting in bone spurs, enlarged joints, and osteoarthritis. They can also be affected by trauma from hyperextension or hyperflexion injuries. When your brain receives pain signals from the medial branch nerve that there is a problem with the facet joints in the cervical region, you will need a technique to treat nerve pain. One of the best ways to relieve pain is through cervical facet radiofrequency neurotomy.

Cervical Facet Radiofrequency

Radiofrequency ablation (or RFA) is a procedure used to reduce pain. An electrical current produced by a radio wave is used to heat up a small area of nerve tissue, thereby decreasing pain signals from that specific area. RFA can be used to help patients with chronic (long-lasting) low-back and neck pain and pain related to the degeneration of joints from arthritis.An electrical current produced by a radio wave is used to heat up a small area of nerve tissue, thereby decreasing pain signals from that specific area. RFA can be used to help patients with chronic (long-lasting) low back pain, neck pain, and pain related to the degeneration of joints from arthritis. After administering a local anesthetic, using X-ray, your doctor will guide the needle to the exact target area. A microelectrode is then inserted through the needle to begin the stimulation process. Using the electrical current, our doctor will create a lesion on the medial branch nerves so they can no longer transmit those pain signals.

Get Pain Relief in Your Cervical Facet Joints

When cervical facet radiofrequency neurotomy is performed, it will take about three to four weeks before the spinal nerves supplying the pain signals completely die from the heat treatment. After that, patients find the pain relief they need, lasting anywhere from nine to fourteen months, possibly even up to two years.

Many patients who use cervical facet radiofrequency to treat nerve pain find that it is more successful than other treatment options such as cervical or local anesthetic blocks. The tiny nerves will grow back or regenerate, and some patients may find that the nerve pain has also returned. If this is the case, then cervical facet radiofrequency can be repeated.


Who Would Benefit From Cervical Facet Radiofrequency Neurotomy?

Those who are most likely to respond to this type of outpatient procedure provided through a radiofrequency electrode are patients experiencing chronic pain caused by serious medical conditions. These include:

  • Spinal arthritis (spondylosis)
  • Neck injuries, including whiplash
  • Conditions that cause neuropathic pain such as complex regional pain syndrome or peripheral nerve entrapment syndromes
  • Issues caused by previous spine surgeries

Typically, these patients will find pain relief for about a year (possibly more for some individuals) from this treatment option. If you are suffering from pain caused by a specific nerve in your cervical spinal cord, you may require treatment such as cervical facet radiofrequency neurotomy.

At New York Spine Specialist, our pain management team is here to help you through your situation and get you on the road to recovery as soon as possible. We offer services designed to provide pain relief quickly and allow you to rehabilitate from the effects of that chronic pain.

When you make your appointment with New York Spine Specialist, we will examine your neck and cervical spine to give you the most specific diagnosis possible. Our doctors and a team of specialists are committed to making sure that you can live as pain-free as possible to get back to enjoying your favorite activities without pain.

Are You Suffering from Pain in Your Facet Joints? New York Spine Specialist can Help!

RFA has proven to be a safe and effective way to treat some forms of pain. It is also generally well-tolerated, with very few associated complications. When you schedule your New York Spine Specialist appointment, you will meet with a doctor for an evaluation. If radiofrequency ablation is recommended, a doctor will explain the process in detail before the procedure begins, including possible complications and side effects.

At New York Spine Specialist, we understand how devastating it can be when pain in your back or neck has prevented you from being able to enjoy your life and your daily activities. Our spine specialists are here to ensure that the pain you are experiencing related to a spine condition does not continue to prohibit you from living your life to the fullest.

Our New York Spine Specialist team is truly committed to assisting you through an uplifting atmosphere and state-of-the-art technology. We accept workers’ compensation, no-fault, and most health insurance plans. We treat all our patients like family, and each member of our team is dedicated to ensuring you can overcome the ailments that are causing you pain and discomfort.

Contact New York Spine Specialist today to schedule your appointment with one of our spine specialists and have your facet joint pain examined. Call now!