Rhizotomy (Spinal Cord Surgery) – North Texas*

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About Rhizotomy

Rhizotomy is a surgical procedure that severs roots in the spinal cord. This surgery is often used as a form of treatment for pain in the facet joints. Your facet joints are connected to vertebrae in the spine to allow movement. When they become irritated, the facet joints can cause significant pain, radiating throughout the body to the mid-back, ribs, lower back, abdomen, buttocks, groin, leg, and head (causing headaches). A rhizotomy destroys the nerves that connect the facet joint to the vertebra, preventing further pain. Spine Care of North Texas’ board-certified and fellowship-trained spine surgeon, Dr. Kendall Carll, has 15 years of experience treating back pain with proven surgical treatments to help restore functionality and pain-free living. To learn whether a rhizotomy to help reduce your back pain, contact one of our North Texas facilities today.

Ideal Candidates

You could be considered a candidate for rhizotomy if you have attempted other conservative pain remedies unsuccessfully. Dr. Carll will assess your unique situation and the severity of your pain to determine if this procedure will provide you with pain relief. Most patients report relief for approximately six months. Before a rhizotomy is performed, Dr. Carll will likely use diagnostic testing and facet block or medical branch block to ensure that other procedures cannot effectively treat your condition. If you are suffering from pain in the neck, back, abdomen, or legs that is not responsive to conservative treatment, you are likely a candidate for rhizotomy

Procedure Technique

A rhizotomy is performed as an outpatient procedure with the patient under general anesthesia. Dr. Carll will utilize fluoroscopy (x-ray technology) to place the needle in the correct nerve root. Next, an electrode connected to the needle will emit heat and radiofrequency energy to cauterizes the nerve root, which prevents further pain transmission from the nerve. More than one area may need to be treated depending on the underlying cause of your condition and the severity of your pain. The procedure takes about 30 minutes from start to finish, while the exact time could vary according to the number of areas treated.

What to Expect

You may be monitored for up to two days following your procedure, but most patients are released to return home the same day. You will need to rest for a full three days after the surgery. During this time, your pain may increase slightly. Within a month, you should be noticing marginal pain relief. A successful rhizotomy will last much longer than a steroid block injection, but the actual length results last will depend on a number of factors including your underlying back condition. A follow-up appointment at Spine Care of North Texas may be necessary so that Dr. Carll and the team can evaluate your healing and pain relief.

Pain Relief that Lasts

Back pain can be debilitating, especially when it affects so many parts of your body and decreases your ability to carry out daily tasks. Dr. Carll at Spine Care of North Texas provides comprehensive diagnostic testing and a plethora of nonsurgical and surgical procedures to help relieve your pain. Contact our helpful staff at our Frisco, Plano, or Addison, TX facilities today to take back your life.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.