Rhizotomy

The Spine Center of Baton Rouge

Orthopaedic Spine Surgeons & Pain Management Specialists located in Baton Rouge, LA

Are you plagued by debilitating back pain and can’t seem to find relief? As leaders in comprehensive pain care, The Spine Center of Baton Rouge delivers relief to many sufferers of back pain with a minimally invasive procedure called rhizotomy. Their offices are conveniently located in Baton Rouge, Walker, and Prairieville, Louisiana. To find out if rhizotomy can help you get back to enjoying a full, active life, call or schedule an online consultation today with Dr. McCarthy or Dr. Harrod.

Rhizotomy Q & A

What is rhizotomy?

Rhizotomy is a new, innovative procedure to treat lower back pain caused by your facet joints.  

Lining the back of your spine, facet joints protect your spine and help to keep your back in an upright position.

Facet joints can get inflamed by arthritis or injury. When that happens, it can trigger chronic pain in your neck or lower back. As much as 40% of lower back pain may be blamed on inflammation in these facet joints.

Facet joint pain often feels like shooting pain. In some cases, you may feel a constant burning sensation. When you move a certain way or bend, the pain can grow even worse.

How is facet joint pain diagnosed?

As a first step, Dr. McCarthy and Dr. Harrod at The Spine Center of Baton Rouge will want to rule out other causes for your chronic pain. They’ll perform a complete physical examination. They order imaging tests, such as an X-ray or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, to assess the condition of your joints and spine.

They’ll also perform a medial branch block to diagnose your back pain. A medial branch block involves injecting the medial nerve in your facet joint with a local anesthetic, such as lidocaine. If the injection relieves at least half of your typical back pain, this confirms that your facet joint is the source of the problem.

What happens during rhizotomy?

The medical team at The Spine Center of Baton Rouge performs this treatment as you’re laying on your stomach. They’ll begin by applying an anesthetic to numb the treatment area.

Then, through a small incision, your doctor inserts a small high-definition camera device called an endoscope. This allows them to see inside your back and view your medial branch nerve. They’ll thread a tiny laser or radiofrequency probe through the endoscope and zap the nerve to treat your pain.

This technique gives you much more reliable and lasting results than traditional rhizotomy where doctors can’t view the medial nerve.

Are you ready to get some form of relief from constant back pain? To find out whether rhizotomy or another kind of back treatment might help you, call or schedule an online consultation today with the team of back care experts at The Spine Center of Baton Rouge.