What Is a Rhizotomy?
The spinal column is one of the most intricate parts of the human body. It is a series of small bones, known as vertebrae, that work independently from each other and are attached by ligaments and tendons. In between each of the vertebrae is a small sack of gel like material, known as the intervertebral discs. It allows the spine to work independently and without them, you would not be able to twist, bend or even stand erect.
When you take care of your spine, the issues that you may experience are likely to be few and far between. Unfortunately, many people tend to abuse their spine by lifting things improperly or they may have issues because of slip and fall accidents, automobile accidents or other type of trauma. When you have a problem with your spine, it may result in damage to one of the intervertebral discs or to the vertebrae. In either case, it could cause severe pain because of pressure that is applied to one of the nerve endings in the area. This is not only something that may result in pain to the specific area, it can cause numbness, weakness and tingling in the extremities and nearby area as well.
If you suffer from chronic back pain or muscle spasms, it can truly affect your quality of life. Many individuals find it difficult to earn a living because of the pain they are experiencing and, although they may try a number of different remedies, it may seem as if nothing is going to work. Your doctor may suggest that you have a procedure that is known as a rhizotomy. This type of procedure is for spinal joint pain, and it can help to relieve the pain by disabling the sensory nerve that is located in the area.
The nerves that are located in the area of the spine provide many functions in the human body. One of those functions is to transmit feeling, including pain, from the area or from a specific part of the body to the brain and to send instructions from the brain back to the area again. Anytime that this is disrupted, as is the case if the nerve is being pinched, it can result in severe problems. A rhizotomy may be able to help.
During the rhizotomy procedure, a hot probe that is electrified is inserted at the sensory nerve. This takes place just outside of the area where it is a problem. The probe deadens the nerve, so that it is no longer able to send the pain signals and they cannot reach the brain any longer. The nerve itself may still be pinched or may be experiencing problems, but because it is no longer transmitting signals to the brain, you are not going to feel the pain that you are experiencing any longer.