Rhizotomy: What to Expect

Rhizotomy: What to Expect

One of the top treatments offered at Comprehensive Pain Institute for chronic back pain is a rhizotomy. In order to better familiarize patients with this treatment and its benefits, our Rhizotomy Bedford TX (location also in Benbrook TX), specialists have put together some basic information. If you or someone you love is living with chronic back or joint pain, this may help you become more informed about a highly effective treatment option. Read on to learn more.


What Does a Rhizotomy Treat?

Also referred to as a neurotomy or ablation, a rhizotomy is a minimally invasive treatment for chronic pain. It is a highly effective contemporary method for managing pain which can last upwards of a year. Although it is most often used to manage back pain, it is also effective for several other types of conditions which cause chronic pain, including:

  • Spinal stenosis
  • Herniated disks
  • Arthritis and other general joint pain
  • Spasticity
  • Trigeminal neuralgia


How it Works

It is important for patients to understand how and why a rhizotomy works. Back doctors in Bedford TX (as well as at our clinic in Benbrook TX) explain that the rhizotomy procedure serves to stop the pain signals which come from chronic pain conditions. It does this by impairing the nerve fibers’ abilities to send pain signals.

This procedure can be performed in several ways, depending on the patient’s unique condition, health history and symptoms. These options vary only in the specialized method they use to disable the nerve endings. The three most common methods are by a chemical agent, radiofrequency or incision. Prior to procedure, the patient’s care team will advise the patient on which form will offer the highest opportunity for success.


Preparation Steps

As with any procedure, there are several preparational steps that must occur prior to the day the rhizotomy is performed. These steps will be reviewed with the patient by a member of his/her care team, also giving the patient the opportunity to ask any questions he or she may have. Although a patient’s condition may require modification to the preparations, the most common requirements are as follows:

  • Two Weeks Before: Stop taking aspirin
  • Five Days Before: Stop taking any blood-thinning medications and anti-inflammatory medications
  • Day of Procedure: No food or drink beginning four hours before the procedure and have a designated ride to and from the procedure

The pain care specialist will also ask for an up-to-date list of all current medications in the days leading up to the procedure. Patients and caregivers should be sure to include any supplements and medications as well as any changes in condition.


Recovery & Risks

Recovery is typically quite quick after the rhizotomy is complete. Observation time will vary depending on the method of anesthetic and/or sedation used. Over the course of the following week, the patient can expect to experience some soreness at the injection site. It is also normal to have small amounts of bruising and/or swelling at the injection site. By four weeks following the procedure, the patient should have fully recovered and feeling the intended impact of the procedure.

There are very few risks associated with a rhizotomy, which is one of the reasons it comes so highly recommended by CPI’s pain care specialists. In general, risks can include:

  • Soreness at the injection site
  • Temporary numbness due to lingering effects of anesthesia
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Sensitivity to or reaction from medication


Rhizotomy Bedford TX

Whether it be questions about a rhizotomy or simply looking for a second opinion on treatment (and anything in between), we seek to be the healthcare provider patients choose. Our mission is to provide compassionate, innovative healthcare that exceeds our patients’ expectations. Our core values are honor, excellence, commitment and compassion. We treat patients like family, honoring their humanity.  We focus on YOU the person, and not just the pain. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.

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