What is Endoscopic Facet Rhizotomy?

Laser facet rhizotomy, also known as endoscopic facet rhizotomy, is a minimally invasive spine surgery that can provide back relief even when other treatments have failed. If you suffer from a spinal condition for more than 6 weeks that has not responded to other treatments then this procedure may give you the back pain relief you're seeking.

Laser facet rhizotomy is a minimally invasive spine surgery usually done as an outpatient procedure while the patient is under local anesthesia. During the procedure, the laser spine surgeon makes a small incision to insert an endoscope into the targeted location. The endoscope, a small flexible tube with a video camera, is placed so the small nerve branches which only have sensory function can be easily seen. The surgeon then uses a laser to deaden these nerve branches thereby eliminating the patient's pain.

Benefits of Endoscopic Facet Rhizotomy

  • Minimally invasive procedure
  • Small incision and minimal scar tissue formation
  • Short recovery
  • Same day surgery with no hospitalization (outpatient procedure)
  • High success rates
  • Minimal to no blood loss
  • Local anesthesia
  • Preservation of spinal mobility

Treated Conditions

  • Bone Spurs
  • Chronic Back Pain
Facet Joint Arthritis

  • Facet Hypertrophy
  • Failed Back & Neck Surgery Syndrome
  • Whiplash 

When is Endoscopic Facet Rhizotomy Recommended?

  • The patient has lower back pain for more than 6 weeks and the pain does not respond to conservative treatments.
  • Palpation of the facet joints provokes deep tenderness and muscle spasm.
  • The patient has limited range of motion in the lumbar spine, particularly upon extension, or bending backwards.
  • Facet joint blocks or medical branch nerve blocks confirm that lower back pain is from facet joint diseases.

For more information or if you have questions regarding this procedure, please feel free to contact us or schedule an appointment with one of our spine doctors today.