Pain resulting from damaged facet joints can be eliminated with this minimally invasive procedure. A needle-sized tube called a cannula is inserted using a fluoroscope x-ray near the irritated medial branch. A surgeon will then insert a radiofrequency electrode using a weak electric jolt to test positioning. The electrode is used to heat the nerve to the point of cauterization, stopping the medial branch nerves from sending pain frequencies to the brain. Pain is likely to increase a week after the procedure but relief will come within a month and can have longer lasting effects than a steroid block injection.

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