Rhizotomy Specialist

The Rehab Doctors

Board Certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation & Board Certified in Sports Medicine located in Rapid City, SD

If you live with chronic pain, rhizotomy might be an excellent pain management option. The board-certified physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists at The Rehab Doctors in Rapid City, South Dakota, offer minimally invasive rhizotomy to stop pain signals from traveling to your brain. Call The Rehab Doctors, or schedule a consultation online today, to find out if rhizotomy is right for you.

Rhizotomy Q & A

What is rhizotomy?

Rhizotomy, sometimes referred to as radiofrequency ablation, is a minimally invasive pain management treatment that uses laser energy to sever nerve roots. The procedure relieves chronic pain and muscle spasms. Rhizotomy works by stopping the transmission of pain signals. 

Why would I need a rhizotomy?

The Rehab Doctors recommend radiofrequency ablation to relieve chronic pain in the:

  • Back
  • Neck
  • Knee
  • Pelvic region 

Rhizotomy is also effective at relieving peripheral nerve pain. 

In most cases, the team uses rhizotomy when nerve blocks have provided effective but temporary pain relief. 

Your physician might recommend radiofrequency ablation as part of a comprehensive treatment plan to relieve pain and restore function. Ideally, rhizotomy can help you avoid surgery and get back to your regular activities quickly and safely.

The Rehab Doctors’ team provides comprehensive exams and consultations to determine if rhizotomy is right for you. 

What happens during rhizotomy?

Rhizotomy is usually an outpatient procedure. You should have a friend or family member drive you to and from the appointment as you have a sedative to help you stay comfortable as well as a local anesthetic.

Your physician at The Rehab Doctors uses fluoroscopy, a special type of X-ray, to pinpoint the location of your malfunctioning nerve in your spine. The X-ray allows them to position a hollow needle against the nerve. They confirm the site by stimulating the nerve. 

Next, your physician guides a laser fiber through the needle to your nerve. They release the energy, which heats and severs the nerve root. When the treatment is complete, your physician removes the needle and bandages the injection site. 

During the procedure, you might feel some pressure or a tingling sensation. The local anesthetic and sedative prevent you from experiencing pain.

What should I expect after rhizotomy?

Rhizotomy should provide almost immediate relief of your pain. However, you might have some tenderness, swelling, or bruising at the injection site. Your physician gives you personalized aftercare instructions. In most cases, ice can ease any discomfort.  

Most patients continue physical therapy and other parts of their pain management programs without downtime or interruption to other appointments. You should be able to return to work and most regular activities within a day or two after rhizotomy. 

Call The Rehab Doctors today or make an appointment online if you have chronic pain and are looking for an effective, minimally invasive treatment.