When Is a rhizotomy Necessary?

By: Dr. Jerry Lewis


Are you continually trying to battle chronic back pain without success? If so, a rhizotomy procedure might be the answer to your troubles. Below, Dr. Jerry Lewis explores this innovative approach to chronic pain management at Lewis Pain & Physical Medicine in Frisco, TX.

What is a rhizotomy?

A rhizotomy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure. Its primary purpose is to relieve chronic pain by targeting specific nerve roots that send pain signals to the brain. This procedure is performed using a heated needle to disrupt these nerve fibers, effectively blocking the pain. This treatment is a particular specialty of Dr. Lewis and is recommended for patients dealing with persistent back pain, especially pain linked to facet joint or sacroiliac joint issues.

Prior to this treatment, the patient will be given general anesthesia. From there, we’ll place a needle in the treatment area where heat will emanate, causing radio energy. This heat will cauterize the nerve root and cut off the transmission or pain.

Who is a good candidate for rhizotomy?

It's crucial to note that rhizotomy isn't a first-choice treatment for back pain. Rather, it is recommended when other conservative treatments such as physical therapy, medications, or epidural injections aren't fruitful. Dr. Lewis advises this procedure primarily for patients who have experienced significant relief from diagnostic nerve blocks, indicating that they might benefit from a more lasting solution.

What are the advantages of undergoing a rhizotomy?

Rhizotomy boasts several benefits, making it an attractive option. Some of the benefits our Frisco, TX patients appreciate include:

  • It offers sustained relief from chronic pain
  • It promotes a quicker return to everyday activities
  • It could potentially reduce reliance on pain medications

Does rhizotomy have any potential risks?

Although rhizotomy is a relatively safe procedure, it's not without risks. Possible complications, though they are infrequent, can include temporary numbness, infection, nerve damage, or increased pain. As a responsible medical practitioner, Dr. Lewis ensures that every patient is well-informed about these potential risks and confirms that the anticipated benefits outweigh the risks before proceeding. That said, we use the latest technologies and techniques to help mitigate as many risks as we can.

What does the recovery process look like?

Following a rhizotomy procedure, patients may experience a bit of discomfort or minor swelling in the treated area, but these are usually temporary and resolve within a few days. Dr. Lewis offers aftercare plans for each patient and strongly recommends incorporating physical therapy into their recovery journey to enhance the effectiveness of the rhizotomy and speed up their return to a virtually pain-free life.

Reduce pain and create a more enjoyable life

Persistent, chronic back pain can put a damper on your daily life, but remember, you're not alone. Dr. Jerry Lewis and his skilled team at Lewis Pain & Physical Medicine in Frisco, TX are dedicated to guiding you through your journey to less pain. If a rhizotomy procedure sounds like the answer to your chronic pain problems, don't hesitate to get in touch with us to discuss your potential treatment plan. Let's take the first step toward a more enjoyable life together — book your appointment with Dr. Lewis today.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.