Radiofrequency Neurotomy

What is radiofrequency neurotomy?

A new type of rhizotomy, radiofrequency neurotomy is a nonsurgical procedure that uses radio waves to help relieve chronic back pain.

It uses needles to send radio waves that generate heat toward the medial or lumbar branch nerves. This destroys the pain-causing nerves and 'turns off' their ability to send pain signals.

The procedure is also called radiofrequency ablation. It is used for joint pain in the cervical, thoracic, lumbar and sacral spine, as well as for the hips and knee joint.

Why do you need radiofrequency neurotomy?

You may need radiofrequency neurotomy if you have chronic back pain that has not improved with medications or physical therapy, or when surgery is not an option.

Chronic pain is pain that lasts for more than 12 weeks, even after treatment or medication.

Radiofrequency neurotomy can help patients who suffer from pain that:

  • Is associated with osteoarthritis
  • Results from injury to the back
  • Occurs on one or both sides of the lower back
  • Spreads to the buttocks and thighs (but does not reach the knees)
  • Feels worse if you twist or lift objects
  • Feels better when lying down

Radiofrequency neurotomy might also be recommended to treat neck pain associated with whiplash.

What are the risks and complications of radiofrequency neurotomy?

Radiofrequency neurotomy is a nonsurgical, minimally invasive procedure.

Common side effects include:

  • Temporary numbness
  • Temporary pain at the procedure site

Rarely, more-serious complications may occur, including:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Nerve damage
  • Worsening pain
This page has been reviewed by our medical content reviewers.

Need help?

For appointment bookings, please Whatsapp
+65 8198 7777

For clinic or corporate matters, please call
+65 6227 7777