You suffer from back pain caused by irritation to the facet joint in the spinal column. In order to relieve this pain you have already been administered an injection. This injection only helped for a short while. This is why your medical practitioner has proposed to permanently block these joint nerves. This is done by applying an electric current to the two facet joint nerves concerned. This page further outlines what this treatment entails.
The facet joint
Facet joints are the small joints located behind the vertebrae, that bend, stretch, turn and permit sideways movement of the spinal column, but that also stop one vertebrae being pushed forwards onto another. These joints are encased in cartilage and have a joint capsule. The joint contain a lubricant that reduces friction between the two bone surface areas upon movement, and that feeds the cartilage.
The treatment objective is to block the sensory nerve of the facet joints. This blocks the pain originating from these joints. The effect of this treatment can last up to 1-2 years. The effects can be felt after 6-8 weeks.
You lie on your front on the treatment table. Under x-ray control the medical practitioner inserts a needle above and under the joint. This is where the sensory nerves of the joint are found. Once the needle is in the correct position the medical practitioner injects an anaesthetic. The needle is then linked up to equipment that emits an electric current which is converted into heat at the needle point. The needle is heated to 80 degrees Celsius for one minute. This is repeated two to three times to be sure the nerve has been cauterised.
The treatment takes around 40 minutes.
For further information about potential side effects and risks, and for other instructions we kindly ask you to read through the “your visit” and “after your treatment” information provided to you.