If you are dealing with the life-altering pain that comes from a facet joint injury, abnormality, or malfunction, we empathize with what you are going through. We understand how your pain has affected your quality of life, and we want to help you get back to living the life you deserve.
There are different treatments available to help eliminate and manage facet joint pain. One that has been especially effective is the facet denervation procedure.
What Is Facet Denervation?
This is a process where the medial branch nerves that send pain to the brain from a dysfunctional facet joint are deadened. Facet joint pain starts when your facet joints begin to deteriorate after use, or as a result of an injury or accident. This, in turn, leads to nerve irritation. The pain that facet joint malfunctions produce can disrupt your life. It takes something as simple as a walk in the park, hanging out with loved ones, or enjoying time with friends, and turns it into a nightmare.
Why Do Your Facet Joints Breakdown?
Every vertebra in your spine has a facet joint on the left and right hand side. Certain infirmities, like joint osteoarthritis, affect the cartilage around your facet joints, causing it to wear away.
Without cartilage, bones start to rub directly on each other. This causes friction, which begins to inflame the medial branch nerves, which in turn causes pain. In addition to pain, facet joints deterioration can lead to:
- Joint Stiffness
- Decreased Mobility
Will Facet Joint Denervation Affect My Mobility?
This is a very good question, and the answer is no. The medial branch nerves that are deadened by this procedure only transmit sensory signals. They are not the nerves that affect mobility. For this reason, they can be deadened or completely removed and your mobility stays intact. The facet joints are completely functional.
Is the Procedure Dangerous?
Facet joint denervation can be performed using a variety of techniques, including lasers, radio frequencies, heat, cold, and chemicals. While the procedure is not dangerous in and of itself, as with any medical procedure, there are some inherent risks.
There exists the remote possibility that you will have an infection, nerve injury, or allergic reaction to any medications that are used. There is a slight risk of bleeding, and it is likely that after the procedure you will have temporary pain in your back. However, using an ice pack for a couple of days should be enough to remove this pain.
For some individuals, the procedure does not work. This is because the facet joint was not actually the source of the pain.
What to Expect during the Procedure
The procedure will vary slightly, depending on what method is used to deaden the nerve. When heat is used, you will lay on your stomach on a narrow table. You will be sedated to keep you comfortable. Your back will be cleaned with a special solution.
Next, an x-ray machine will allow doctors to locate the exact spot where they will perform the denervation. Your skin will be numbed, but you might feel a slight pinch as it happens. Needles are inserted and tested to make sure that they are in the right location. Then the nerve will be heated and destroyed.
You will not feel any pain as the nerve is numbed prior to the procedure. The entire procedure takes around 40 minutes. Once it’s done, you will be given some time to recover, and then you will be discharged once the sedation wears off.
Will I Have Restrictions Once a Procedure Is Done?
It is recommended that you do not drive for the rest of the day. So you’ll need someone to bring you home after the procedure. It is also recommended that you avoid swimming or soaking in a Jacuzzi. You will experience mild pain in the days following the procedure, but this will dissipate.
How We Can Help
Lumbar pain can destabilize your life. Facet denervation is an excellent way to eliminate this pain and allow you to get back to living the quality of life you want.
With the goal of determining whether or not this procedure is right for you, the first thing that we are going to do when you walk into our office is to sit down and talk with you. We are keenly interested in hearing about your pain history, what you have done to address your pain, what has worked, what has not worked, and based on this come up with a pain management system that produces results.
We are not interested in giving you a cookie-cutter or one-size-fits-all solution to your pain. We want to design a unique, individualized program that specifically addresses your needs. No two people experience pain in the same way, so no two pain management programs will be exactly the same.
Our goal is to leave you with a long-term and a short-term pain management program. In the short-term, we want to get you up and moving pain-free as quickly as possible. The long-term treatment is about allowing you to maintain a pain-free life for years into the future.
No matter what you have heard from other medical professionals, the pain that you are currently experiencing is not in your head and it is not in your imagination, but it is real. We will never question or doubt of the pain you are experiencing, and we will never give up in our fight working with you to help you have a pain-free life.
Contact us today, and let us use our years of experience to help you get back to living the life you so deserve.