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Endoscopic Radiofrequency Ablation

Endoscopic Radiofrequency Ablation is also know as:

  • Endoscopic Rhizotomy

  • Radiofrequency Neurotomy


This is a highly effective yet minimally invasive procedure for the treatment of back pain caused by arthritis.


Endoscopic Radiofrequency Ablation is an outpatient procedure lasting less than an hour. Using real-time X-ray guidance (fluoroscopy) a small metal tube, the size of a pencil, is inserted through the skin in to the spinal column. This serves as a passage for an endoscopic camera that allows the doctor live visualization of the spine. Once the nerves are visualized, a radiofrequency electrode is used to burn the nerves that are causing arthritis pain. The relief can last more than 2-5 years, and post procedural pain is minimal.


Endoscopic Radiofrequency Ablation - Post Operative Instructions


Incision Care: If there is a dressing, you may remove it on the morning after surgery BEFORE you shower. If surgical glue is used expect it will slowly peel off within 14 days. Please call us with any changes or concerns such as:

  • redness

  • swelling or drainage at incision site

  • temperature greater than 101°

  • Clear liquid drainage in the first 24 hours is normal.

Bathing: You may shower the morning or afternoon after surgery after the dressing is removed; avoid scrubbing the incision site for the first 5 days. No baths or swimming until approved by the physician or physician assistant at your follow up appointment.

Restrictions: None

Exercise: Increase your light activity each day, such as walking, as tolerated.


Driving: You may drive 14 days after the procedure if you feel okay to do so. Do not drive if you are taking pain medications.


Diet: Eat a healthy diet to promote healing.


Smoking: Avoid smoking. Smoking decreases the rate of bone and skin healing and also interferes with the effectiveness of pain medication.


Follow-Up: You will have a post-operative appointment approximately 2 weeks after surgery.

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