Thoracic Facet Radiofrequency Neurotomy

This minimally-invasive procedure, also called radiofrequency, reduces or eliminates the pain of damaged thoracic facet joints of the upper back by disrupting the medial branch nerves that carry pain signals.

X-ray guidance is used to carefully guide a needle-like tube (cannula) to the irritated medial branch nerves. Then, a radiofrequency electrode is inserted through a tube, which heats and cauterizes the nerve. This disrupts its ability to communicate with the brain, blocking the pain signals.

All injections are performed under fluoroscopy (x-ray) or ultrasound-guidance or both.

What can you expect after the procedure?

Although pain may increase for the first week after the procedure, your pain gradually begins to decrease over the next few weeks.