Facet RFTC is a procedure that is used for patients that have a successful response from a Cervical Facet Block or Lumbar Facet Block. A Facet Block is used to treat patients that are suffering from pain in the facet joints. Conditions of degenerative joint disease, spinal arthritis, and facet disease often times are treated conservatively with these injections. The Facet RFTC is essentially the cauterizing of the painful nerves, which means simply burning the nerves so no pain is felt.
For this procedure, radio waves create heat and destroy most of those nerves. The small ends of the nerve branches that irritate the facet joints are destroyed so that you no longer feel sensation. This is not a permanent treatment but can provide sustainable relief for up to a year. This procedure is performed under fluoroscopic guidance so your physician can safely perform the ablation in the precise location in which the original facet block was performed.
The appointment time for a Facet RFTC is approximately 90 minutes long. There are 3 different stages to this appointment.
After your procedure, you are asked to rest for the remainder of the day and avoid any strenuous activities. Tenderness at the site of needle insertion may occur, in which case ice may be applied for 20 minutes every hour if necessary. Normal activities can be resumed the following day without restrictions.
Certain procedures may be performed with local anesthesia. Your provider will discuss the necessity of this with you at your appointment prior to scheduling the procedure.