Facet Rhizotomy

The facet joints are small joints located in the spine which provide stability and are the primary source of pain for many people who suffer from back pain. For those who suffer from back pain, spine infiltration (or spinal injections) may be used to relieve pain. Alternatively, for others, this pain relief is too short-lived, and facet rhizotomy may be better suited. Facet rhizotomy may aid by turning off the pain receptors that are sent from the spine to the brain.

How is facet rhizotomy done?

Facet rhizotomy is done by administering a mild sedative and local anaesthetic to the area where pain relief is needed. Using a fluoroscope, which is a type of x-ray, Dr Khumalo will use mild electrical currents to activate the nerve and pinpoint the location where the rhizotomy is needed. As the electrode is heated and the nerves become dead, you may feel a slight bit of tingling.

After the procedure, you may feel slight bruising and pain at the site of the needle for which you will be given anti-inflammatory medications. Now that the nerves have been inhibited, you should have great improvement.

Dr Dlozi Khumalo is a compassionate Specialist Orthopaedic Surgeon with a keen interest in spinal conditions, hip and knee replacements, hand & foot surgery and limb reconstructive surgery. Feel free to make an appointment at his Benoni based practice.

Suite 4, 2nd Floor, Sunshine Hospital, 1522 Soma Street, Actonville, Benoni, 1501

+27 (0)11 898 8000