Facet Thermal Ablation

Facet thermal ablation is used to treat chronic neck and back pain caused by spinal osteoarthritis. This condition commonly cause pain, tenderness and stiffness. If injections and other conservative treatments have not worked for you, consider minimally invasive facet thermal ablation. It’s an outpatient procedure that can have you walking again the same day.

What is this procedure?

Thermal ablation uses a laser, guided through a one-inch incision, to deaden the nerves that are being compressed at the facet joints that are responsible for bending and twisting motions. Because the targeted nerves feed only the facet joints, this procedure will not affect your ability to feel or move freely; instead, it will deaden the pain signal from the affected area to your brain and open up compressed areas.

The laser and instruments used to remove excess bone, are fed through a slim tube. The tissue around it is expanded, rather than cut, so post-operative pain is minimal and healing is rapid for most people.

This approach is at the heart of the minimally invasive, muscle-sparing approach that we use at Physician Partners of America.

Facet thermal ablation is similar to radio frequency ablation. Both are minimally invasive procedures that target a specific area of the spine’s facet joints. Here’s the difference: RFA uses heat to stun the affected nerve for a few months or years, while a laser deadens it permanently.

It is considered a safe procedure that restores movement and shuts down pain.

You and our surgeon will carefully discuss your medical history and treatment options. Call today for a free MRI review and consultation, and start on the path to a life free of pain.

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