Endoscopic Facet Rhizotomy

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Video Animation of an Endoscopic Facet Rhizotomy Procedure

What is an Endoscopic Facet Rhizotomy?

The Endoscopic Facet Rhizotomy procedure is a true minimally invasive spine surgery used to deaden affected nerves causing chronic back and neck pain.

With the guidance of x-rays, our endoscopic rhizotomy is completed without damaging surrounding muscles or soft tissue like traditional spine surgery.

What are the advantages of an Endoscopic Facet Rhizotomy?

Advantages of endoscopic facet rhizotomy surgery include the following:

  • Minimally invasive
  • Short recovery
  • High success rates
  • Minimal to no blood loss
  • Minimal to no blood loss
  • Preservation of spinal mobility
  • Small incision and minimal scar tissue formation
  • Same day surgery with no hospitalization (outpatient procedure)

 

What Conditions Can Endoscopic Facet Rhizotomy Treat?

Lumbar Endoscopic Facet Rhizotomy

  • Chronic low back pain
  • Facet hypertrophy
  • Facet joint arthritis
  • Facet joint injuries
  • Failed back surgery syndrome
  • Whiplash syndromes

Cervical Endoscopic Facet Rhizotomy

  • Chronic neck pain
  • Facet hypertrophy
  • Facet joint arthritis
  • Facet joint injuries
  • Failed back surgery syndrome
  • Whiplash syndromes

 

How Is an Endoscopic Facet Rhizotomy Done?

The patient is brought to the operating room and is administered with a local anesthetic and intravenous sedation. The surgical targets are marked at the skin level under fluoroscopic guidance (x-rays), and a small cut (about 7 mm) is made on the skin. Then, a tube is inserted to the target. The endoscope is then placed through the tube and the small nerve branches (medial branch) from the nerve root are identified. A laser is then used to deaden the nerve branches, which only have a sensory function. Finally, the tube is removed, the incision is closed with a stitch or two, and the endoscopic facet rhizotomy is complete.

Upon completion, the patient is encouraged to walk around and is free to leave the surgical center, with a companion, the same day. After a follow-up visit with the surgeon the next day, the patient can go home for a quick recovery.

doctors note

Note From Dr. Liu:

Before surgical spine treatment is considered, we will exhaust conservative, non-surgical spine treatment options first. Our advanced diagnostic and pain mapping techniques enable us to ensure precise diagnosis, which is one of the most important factors towards effective treatment of your pain.