Radiofrequency neurotomy is not an operative procedure. A radiofrequency neurotomy is a type of injection (a less invasive procedure) in which a heat lesion is created by using electricity on certain nerves with the goal of interrupting pain signals to the brain, thus eliminating pain. As with many spinal injections, radiofrequency neurotomy is best performed under fluoroscopy (live x-ray) for guidance in properly targeting and placing the needle (and for avoiding nerve injury or other injury).Success rates vary, but typically about 30% to 50% of patients undergoing this procedure will experience significant pain relief for as much as two years. Of the remaining patients, about 50% will get some pain relief for a shorter period. Some patients do not experience any relief from pain as a result of this procedure.
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