The spine is a column of bones arranged one on top of the other. The bones are linked at the back by joints called facet joints, one on each side. The facet joints hold the bones together and stabilise the spine, while also allowing movement.
The facet joints may become painful either due to wear and tear (also called degenerative change), stress or injury, although the reason is not always clear. Pain is felt around the facet joints and in the surrounding area. For example, pain starting from the joints of the lower back will often be felt in the buttocks and upper legs.
WHEN IS DENERVATION USED?
The denervation procedure is usually considered after trying less invasive treatments, such as medication, physiotherapy, transcutaneous nerve stimulation (TENS).
Exercise, acupuncture, yoga/pilates and relaxation therapy may also help ease back pain. Spine surgery could be also considered in selected cases.
Denervation is usually only considered if you have responded well to local anaesthetic injections near the affected areas, and these have helped to reduce pain.
WHAT IS THE FACET JOINT RADIOFREQUENCY DENERVATION
Facet joint radiofrequency denervation is a procedure in which nerve fibres supplying the painful facet joints are selectively destroyed by heat produced by radio waves and delivered through a needle.
The treatment is usually performed after an injection of a local anaesthetic close to the affected joints has helped to reduce feeling and pain.
The denervation treatment involves placing a special needle (radiofrequency probe) near the nerve of the joint; when a radiofrequency current is passed down the probe, a very small area of heat is created that causes a break in the nerve. This procedure does not affect any other part of the body. https://www.nice.org.uk/researchrecommendation/radiofrequency-denervation-what-is-the-clinical-and-cost-effectiveness-of-radiofrequency-denervation-for-chronic-low-back-pain-in-the-long-term