What is Radiofrequency Neurotomy and Will it Work for Me?

Radiofrequency neurotomy (or RFN) is a minimally invasive therapeutic treatment used to provide neck and back pain relief for up to a year. The procedure involves the selective heating of medial branch nerves that supply degenerative or injured facet joints. But what are “medial branch nerves?” They are the small nerves that transmit pain from the joints in the neck and low back.

Facet joints allow your spine to flex, twist and bend, and when they’re arthritic or damaged, low back and neck pain often become chronic. You can injure your facet joints in a number of different ways, including everyday activities. Many people suffer facet joint injuries from major and minor accidents, but aging and degenerative changes can also be the culprit.

If Dr. Waring suspects your facet joints are the cause of your pain, he may first recommend numbing the medial branch nerves that supply your facet joints through a series of diagnostic medial branch block injections. If those nerve-numbing injections are successful in providing relief that lasts for 3-6 hours, your insurance will usually allow you to move forward with radiofrequency neurotomy.

The best way to predict the success of the radiofrequency treatment is by evaluating the level of pain relief you experience following the medial branch block injections. Radiofrequency neurotomy usually has up to a 90% success rate if you experience excellent pain relief following medial branch block injections. If you think you’re a candidate for radiofrequency neurotomy, schedule a consultation with Dr. Waring today and be on your way to a less painful and more active tomorrow.


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