WEST ORANGE, N.J., Sept. 26, 2018 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- It makes sense that joints constantly in motion might deteriorate
But many myths and misconceptions swirl around endoscopic rhizotomy, also known as endoscopic facet rhizotomy. These misunderstandings can discourage those with lingering neck or lower back pain from seeking the procedure even though they might greatly benefit, says Dr. Chang, a highly specialized interventional pain management specialist.
"The word 'rhizotomy' means 'nerve destruction,' which is what the minimally invasive surgery aims to achieve," Dr. Chang explains. "Endoscopic rhizotomy uses energy to selectively destroy tiny nerve fibers carrying pain signals from the facet joints to the brain. Research backs up its benefits, showing it can significantly improve pain levels in the neck or back compared to other treatments such as steroid injections."
Who needs an endoscopic rhizotomy? What are the top reasons a doctor might recommend endoscopic rhizotomy? According to Dr. Chang, they include:
Here's the truth about endoscopic rhizotomy Myth: Endoscopic rhizotomy is a short-term fix Fact: Relief can last for months or years
By "ablating" or destroying nerve fibers surrounding diseased facet joints – which, depending on location can produce pain in the neck, shoulders, back, ribs, chest, buttocks, groin or legs – endoscopic rhizotomy surgery effectively targets the source of the pain, Dr. Chang says. "The procedure can be repeated if necessary, but patients typically experience long-term relief that improves their quality of life tremendously."
Dr. Chang adds that the more common form of rhizotomy is radiofrequency ablation, which is done with just needles, however the effect is only expected to last 6 months. The endoscopic procedure is only a little more invasive but can provide at least a year, more commonly a couple years of relief.
Myth: Endoscopic rhizotomy is dangerous Fact: It's both safe and highly effective At first glance, the idea of destroying nerve fibers can sound hazardous. But endoscopic rhizotomy surgery works with such precision that only pain-producing nerves around the facet joints are affected, Dr. Chang says. "This meticulous approach is not only safer for nerves, but the surgery's minimally invasive approach means only tiny incisions are used," he adds.
Myth: Endoscopic rhizotomy can only help a select few Fact: It's increasingly popular and useful
Because spinal arthritis and other chronic back problems can often originate in the fact joints, endoscopic rhizotomy surgery is an option for a large proportion of back pain sufferers, Dr. Chang says. "The procedure has become even more popular and useful in recent years, since facet joint pain is more prevalent than other diagnosable reasons for back pain," he adds. "With a rapid recovery, most patients feel much better within days."
Atlantic Spine Center is a nationally recognized leader for endoscopic spine surgery and pain management with several locations in NJ and NYC. http://www.atlanticspinecenter.com, http://www.atlanticspinecenter.nyc
Kaliq Chang, MD, is an interventional pain management specialist board-certified in anesthesiology at Atlantic Spine Center.
SOURCE Dr. Kaliq Chang
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