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Radiofrequency Neurotomy of the Cervical Facets

Radiofrequency rhizotomy and radiofrequency neurotomy refer to the same procedure. It’s a minimally invasive treatment to disable the nerves in your spine that are causing pain. Once disabled, those nerves temporarily can’t send pain signals to your brain. This pain management procedure is performed when other treatments have failed and you’re not a candidate for minimally invasive surgery. When you have back pain, call the pain management experts at the Spine & Rehab Group in Manhattan and northern New Jersey. They offer many types of pain-reducing treatments.

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What Is Radiofrequency Rhizotomy or Radiofrequency Neurotomy?

Radiofrequency rhizotomy, also called radiofrequency neurotomy, is a non-invasive pain management procedure. It’s primarily used to alleviate or eliminate the pain and other symptoms stemming from cervical facet syndrome (in your neck) or thoracic facet syndrome (in your upper or middle back). Facet joint syndrome is an arthritis-like condition in the spine that causes neck pain or back pain and inflammation.

When you have upper back painmiddle back pain or lower back pain, consult a spine specialist like Dr. Amr Hosny and his team at the Spine & Rehab Group. With three offices in Manhattan and five more in Bergen County, Morris County and Union County in New Jersey, there’s a location near you. You need a diagnosis of facet joint syndrome before your spine doctor recommends radiofrequency rhizotomy.

Our Board certified doctors Amr Hosny, MD, MBA, FASA
Amr Hosny, MD, MBA, FASA
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David Chu, MD, FAAPMR
David Chu, MD, FAAPMR
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Vivek Mehta, MD, FAAPMR Board Certified Interventional Spine Medicine
Vivek Mehta, MD, FAAPMR
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Deepali Gupta, MD, DABA, DABPM Board Certified Interventional Spine Specialist
Deepali Gupta, MD, DABA, DABPM
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Who Needs Radiofrequency Neurotomy?

The risk of suffering from facet joint syndrome increases as you age, although there are many causes for the condition. Your spine doctor typically recommends a radiofrequency neurotomy treatment when surgery isn’t an option. Other factors that influence the decision to perform this procedure include:

Since everyone is potentially at risk for facet joint syndrome, anyone may benefit from a radiofrequency rhizotomy procedure if it’s warranted. As long as your doctor can pinpoint the vertebral bone causing your pain, this procedure can provide temporary relief, even of chronic pain.

What Conditions Does Radiofrequency Rhizotomy Treat?

A radiofrequency thermal rhizotomy reduces or resolves a number of specific types of back pain, such as:

A radiofrequency rhizotomy can also be effective for some types of hip pain and knee pain. Only a trained, experienced spine specialist like those at the Spine & Rehab Group in NYC and northern NJ can determine if you’re a good candidate for a radiofrequency neurotomy. Because your back pain may stem from many causes, you need an accurate diagnosis before you can receive this treatment.

What Are the Types of Rhizotomy?

There are three types of rhizotomy procedures, all of which address specific back pain issues. All three focus on disabling or destroying the nerves that send pain signals to your brain. The three types of rhizotomy include:

  1. Radiofrequency rhizotomy. Also called radiofrequency ablation or thermal rhizotomy, this procedure uses radio waves to damage pain-carrying nerves in your spine.
  2. Glycerin/glycerol rhizotomy. Your spine doctor uses a needle to deliver a little amount of glycerin or glycerol to destroy the nerve at the root level.
  3. Endoscopic rhizotomy. A minimally invasive surgery, this procedure uses an endoscope, allowing your doctor to surgically cut the nerves.

At the Spine & Rehab Group, Dr. Hosny and the other doctors rely on the radiofrequency technique to damage painful nerves in a delicate, minimally invasive procedure. The procedure provides temporary pain relief that lasts up to several months.

patient TESTIMONIALS ★★★★★

I came to the spine and rehab group for my back and leg pain. I was able to get an appointment the same day I called. The staff was very friendly and courteous. The doctors were very knowledgeable and took time to explain what was causing my pain and answer all my questions. I felt comfortable having my procedure done in their state of the art surgery center, where the staff made you feel at ease. They are very easy to reach and available to answer all your questions.

Narendra G.

The entire staff at The Spine & Rehab group is great. They are so helpful and kind. The doctors really take time to talk to their patients and answer any and all of the questions that I had. I've had office visits and procedures done and everyone to the front desk, to the nurses. and the doctors were just great and knowledgeable. They really got me feeling better as well. Since I starting going there my pain has improved greatly! I would recommend The Spine & Rehab Group to everyone!

Carmen C.

The Spine & Rehab Group is my go to place for chronic pain. The doctors are compassionate and supportive. The nurses and staff are professional and so caring. I have been a patient here for almost 10 years . The doctors and physician assistant are extremely knowledgeable and always looking for the best way to help with my chronic pain! I always recommend The Spine & Rehab Group to people dealing with pain, I even tell my other doctors what wonderful doctors they are.

Val B.

These days it’s hard to find a professional, yet extremely caring physicians office, particularly in the field of Pain Management. Dr. Hosny, Dr. Chu, physician’s assistant Summer and the entire staff have managed to make this happen. Robin helped me many times with insurance to ensure that I got my shots in a timely manner (Hi Robin!). I’ve been going to this office for about three years and I couldn’t be more pleased!


I went to Dr. Hosny with lower back pain. I spend many hours sitting in a truck for my job. After an hour or so I would get pain in my back. Since I am a truck driver, pain killers were not an option for me. After a few sessions with Dr. Hosny, I am pain free. The staff at New Jersey Pain Care Center and are wonderful and caring people. I would recommend anyone go to Dr. Hosny if they want real results.


I had gone to Dr. Hosny with severe back pain after spinal surgery. It was debilitating pain that stopped me from being able to function normally. Dr. Hosny suggested that I have a Spinal Cord Stimulator implanted in my back. It is the best thing I EVER did. I am so excited to be able to return to my normal life with no medication. My experience at the pain center was wonderful. The nurses were very understanding and kind.


I have had back surgeries that provided me no relief from my pain. After a few treatments with Dr. Hosny, I have almost no discomfort. I have no need for my pain medication anymore, and have been able to go back to working out and enjoying activities with my family. I was pleasantly surprised at the treatment I received at New Jersey Pain Care Center. The staff is very nice, and treats you with respect. The facility is clean, bright and everything is brand new.


I had been having pain in my neck for many years. I had been to other doctors and they all recommended that I have surgery. I was hesitant to get surgery, so I wanted one more opinion. I had a friend tell me about Dr. Hosny and New Jersey Pain Care Center. From the moment I met Dr. Hosny I knew he wasn’t your average doctor. He took the time to listen to my concerns about surgery, and he agreed. After my cervical radiofrequency, I have full range of motion back in my neck, and best of all, no pain.

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What Can I Expect During a Radiofrequency Rhizotomy?

A radiofrequency neurotomy is an in-office, outpatient procedure. It requires no hospitalization, and you can return home to recuperate that same day. You’ll need to arrange for a ride home, as you aren’t allowed to drive after the procedure. The procedure itself takes only minutes and follows several common steps, including:

  1. Your spine specialist needs access to the area on your back to be treated. By this point, your doctor knows which spinal nerves to treat from diagnostic imaging tests.
  2. You lie face-down on a table beneath a fluoroscope, which provides live x-ray images.
  3. You’re given either local or general anesthesia to keep you comfortable.
  4. The radiofrequency energy is delivered to the precise nerve through a thin needle.

After the procedure, you feel significant pain relief. You return home with care instructions from your doctor. You can usually return to work the next day, as long as your work doesn’t involve excessive physical labor. For comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of back pain, contact the experts at the Spine & Rehab Group.

Page Updated on Jul 28, 2022 by Dr. Hosny (Interventional Spine Specialist) of The Spine & Rehab Group
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