Rhizotomy Procedure

One of the primary causes of missed work and medical visits is back pain. It is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. Thankfully, you can take steps to minimize or avoid back pain. There are home remedies and medications that can assist you in finding relief if you are either unable to prevent the discomfort or are already suffering from it. Only a doctor would advise surgery.

Your doctor can suggest surgery as a last resort if you experience persistent back discomfort. They will typically advise a less invasive technique like rhizotomy. For several back problems, including severe back pain, pain when you move your back in a specific way, and muscle spasms, rhizotomy is strongly advised. Working closely with a skilled medical group with experience treating backaches is beneficial. If you need back pain relief in Los Angeles, contact LAMIS to learn more about our services, the rhizotomy operation, and what to anticipate.

An Overview of Back Pain

Many types of back pain exist, like shooting, aching, stabbing, and burning sensations when you bend, raise, twist, stand, or even walk. The pain can spread down your legs, making it more unbearable. Back pain often worsens over time after a modest start. The majority of people choose to ignore back pain and only begin looking for treatment when it deteriorates. You will find it challenging to complete your daily tasks if you have severe back pain. Some people miss their jobs, especially those who have physically demanding jobs. You must receive immediate treatment to relieve your back pain and return to your regular routine.

Most people do not visit the hospital right away when they are experiencing back pain. Some people try home treatments before they consult a doctor about their condition. While some pain gradually improves with self-care and home treatments, other pain worsens and requires hospitalization. Here are a few explanations for why you should think about going to a hospital for back pain relief:

  • Consult a doctor if home remedies are not alleviating your discomfort after more than six weeks.
  • If the pain is extreme and does not go away with rest.
  • If the pain spreads to your legs, and mainly if it extends below the knee.
  • If it results in tingling, numbness, or weakness in one or both of your legs.
  • If an unexpected weight reduction accompanies it.

You should take back pain seriously because it could be a sign of a severe medical issue. Other reasons for back pain that necessitate prompt medical attention include:

  • If there is a fever present.
  • If it alters your bowel movements or gives you bladder issues.
  • If it follows a catastrophic fall, injury, or back blow.

Rhizotomy Procedure

Rhizotomy is a relatively recent technique for treating back pain. The terms ‘rhizo,’ which means root, and ‘tomy,’ which means incision, are combined to form the word rhizotomy. The technique includes cutting or disconnecting the roots of an affected nerve at the facet joint to stop back pain. Rhizotomy is a minimally invasive surgical technique with a high success rate for treating persistent back pain. Many people have tried it and reported its success, especially those who did not find other back pain therapies effective.

Patients with lower back or lumbar spine facet joints are advised to undergo rhizotomy. Two facet joints connect each vertebra to another vertebra in your spine. A medieval nerve serves as the origin of feeling in each facet joint. Your medieval nerve can experience severe pain that worsens over time if compromised. You can control the discomfort with the rhizotomy surgery, allowing you to go about your everyday activities at home and at work with little concern for back pain.

One of the two primary varieties of this operation will be suggested by specialists in the treatment of back pain:

Radiofrequency Ablation

It entails destroying the affected nerve roots that transmit back pain signals to the brain through surgery. If you have completed several successful nerve blocks and have determined the cause of your back pain, your doctor will advise you to undergo this operation.

Your surgeon will perform this surgery by inserting a microelectrode into the affected nerves using a needle. When placing the needle, the surgeon will use an X-ray as a guide. The microelectrode will produce heat, inhibiting the nerve responsible for your back pain.

The therapy is quite effective in reducing back pain and muscular spasms. Over time, the faulty nerve can regrow. You will need to start treatment all over again after that. After a year of treatment, your surgeon can again suggest radiofrequency ablation to prevent the anticipated backache.

Endoscopic Procedure

The treatment calls for a surgeon to implant a minute camera into your back and push it through your nerve branch to pinpoint the nerves causing your back discomfort. The surgeon will make a small incision to access the problematic nerves in your back. They will cut off those nerves once they are found.

Note: Not everyone who suffers from significant back pain should have a rhizotomy operation. You must have a specific condition causing your back pain, like axial backache or pain in a single area without leg problems. If the constriction of the lumbar joints is the basis of your back discomfort, this technique has much to offer you. It could also benefit you if you have facet osteoarthritis. Doctors consider whether your backache is localized to one place and whether there is any radiation or instability in your spinal disc before recommending the rhizotomy procedure.

Preparing for a Rhizotomy Procedure

Your doctor will do several tests before the procedure to ensure you are physically prepared for surgery. They can run various diagnostic tests to ensure they can quickly find the troublesome nerve causing your back discomfort. You can bring any previous imaging or medical records for the doctor to evaluate. Only after they are confident that the operation will provide you with the pain relief you hope for will your surgeon move forward with the procedure.

Your surgeon will walk you through specific preparation steps after you are physically prepared for the procedure. These actions comprise:

  • Avoiding aspirin at least two weeks before treatment since aspirin can thin the blood.
  • You must cease taking other blood thinners at least five days before the procedure.
  • You should stop using any inflammatory medications five days prior to the procedure.
  • Ensure your surgeon has a list of all the medicines you are currently using so they can review them.
  • At least four hours before the process, you must refrain from eating, drinking, or even taking pain relievers.
  • Make sure a friend or relative is with you during the treatment. After the procedure, the surgeon must ensure you have someone to take you home.

Additionally, your surgeon will ensure you know the course of therapy and what to anticipate before, during, and following the procedure. They will make sure you are emotionally equipped to handle the situation.

What To Expect After The Rhizotomy Procedure

Your surgeon will administer an anesthetic to let you experience the treatment process pain-free. After the surgery, the doctor will closely monitor you for at least 12 hours before the anesthetic wears off. Be aware that the duration of this observation period will vary depending on the type and dosage of anesthesia used by your surgeon, how you react to it, and whether or not the doctor gave you IV sedation. You will be able to leave the hospital once the anesthetic wears off.

Depending on the patient, the rhizotomy technique can or cannot be painful. When having surgery, each person's experience is unique. Patients vary in how much pain they feel. Your doctor can advise IV sedation if you have a low tolerance to pain or if they anticipate that the operation can make you feel quite uncomfortable. However, if you can tolerate the procedure with only the anesthetic, the doctor will need to perform a brief period of supervision before handing you over to your friend or relative. IV sedation is advised primarily to lessen the pain patients will probably feel while receiving treatment.

You can experience one or more of the following adverse effects following the procedure:

  • A few days after the procedure, you could have back pain once the anesthetic has entirely worn off your body. However, remember that the injury is still mending, and the discomfort will eventually subside.
  • At the treatment site, you can experience some bruising or swelling.
  • After approximately four weeks of treatment, persistent pain alleviation is to be anticipated.

Your doctor can suggest physical therapy to help strengthen your core and back muscles once you fully recover from the operation. After some time, it is anticipated that the affected nerve will regenerate. Therefore, you must increase the strength of your back muscles and core. A stable, powerful back is less prone to suffer from a painful, potentially surgically treatable condition.

Note: The rhizotomy technique can prevent chronic back discomfort for a maximum of one year.

Risk Factors and Possible Complications with the Rhizotomy Procedure

Every medical procedure comes with risks and possible drawbacks. The rhizotomy procedure has a relatively low number of risks compared to other treatments. Knowing these will help you be ready for what to expect after the treatment. It also aids in your preparation for dealing with some of these difficulties. The following are the most typical risk factors and potential side effects of rhizotomy:

Allergic Reactions

Addressing any medication allergies you can have with your doctor before surgery is crucial. Tragically, some people are unaware they are allergic to drugs like IV sedation. If you are, taking it could cause a severe allergic reaction.

Nausea and Dizziness

After a surgical operation, nausea and dizziness are common side effects. Anesthesia or other medicines you take before the procedure could make you feel dizzy or lightheaded. To feel better, consider drinking lots of water and doing simple physical or deep breathing exercises. Fortunately, nausea and dizziness quickly subside.

Weakness or Numbness

Due to anesthesia, some patients report having weak or numb muscles in their arms and legs. It is just a fleeting emotion that will pass quickly.

Discomfort and Pain

If you are sensitive to pain, you can find it challenging to recover from the procedure because the injection site will feel slightly painful and uncomfortable. Fortunately, that should also recover quickly.

Migraine or Headache

Additionally, headaches following surgical procedures are uncommon, notably if you underwent spinal anesthesia. The discomfort typically starts to fade a few days or weeks after the operation, sometimes even the next day. Even after general anesthesia and local anesthesia, some people still experience headaches. These varieties frequently show up immediately after the operation. However, they, too, vanish rapidly.

Although rare, rhizotomy-related complications can sometimes be quite severe. It is advised to seek medical attention as soon as possible. These side effects include an infected injection site, weakness in your arms or legs that worsens or does not go away after several hours, and severe back pain or discomfort at the treatment site that worsens quickly.

Additionally, if you start vomiting, have chills, or have a fever, you must visit a doctor immediately. In addition, you should consult a doctor immediately if you experience bladder or gastrointestinal problems.

Find an Experienced Los Angeles Back Pain Expert Near Me

Several issues, including overworking and poor posture, can lead to back pain. Fortunately, you can reduce back pain with rest, exercise, and even physical therapy. But chronic back pain needs to be taken seriously. Your doctor can advise rhizotomy surgery if you have experienced chronic pain that does not go away despite the finest home remedies.

When all other back pain therapies have failed, we at LAMIS advise rhizotomy surgery. Before beginning treatment, our highly qualified and experienced back pain specialists will run a series of tests, review your health history, and talk with you about the procedure. If you or a loved one is suffering from chronic back pain in Los Angeles and are looking for a reliable solution that will allow you to resume life's activities that you enjoy, call us at 310-734-6088.

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