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Seth Kaufman, D.O. -  - Physical Medicine

South Florida Interventional Orthopedics and Spine

Seth Kaufman, D.O.

Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Specialist located in Davenport, FL & Miami, FL

If your pain responds well to facet injections, you might be a candidate for rhizotomy. At South Florida Interventional Orthopedics and Spine, double board-certified physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist Dr. Seth Kaufman, DO, provides this minimally invasive surgical procedure to help patients suffering from chronic neck and back pain. Call the office in Davenport, Florida, or request an appointment online today.

Rhizotomy Q & A

What is a rhizotomy?

A rhizotomy, also known as radiofrequency ablation (RFA), is a minimally invasive procedure that destroys problematic nerve roots. It also targets nerve tissues that affect your facet joints.

Rhizotomy means the severing or interruption of a nerve. It removes sensation from a painful nerve by turning off nerve fibers responsible for sending pain signals to the brain. 

If there are problems with your facet joints, your body sends pain signals to alert the brain. Rhizotomy turns these signals off.


How does a rhizotomy work?

During this procedure, radiofrequency waves are delivered to specific nerves to interrupt pain signals to the brain.

Dr. Kaufman begins by applying a local anesthetic to numb the injection site. You are awake during the procedure but won’t feel any pain. 

Next, Dr. Kaufman administers a mild sedative by IV. Fluoroscopy (real-time X-ray technology) helps guide the correct needle placement for maximum treatment benefits.

He uses a radiofrequency generator to move heat through the electrical current, which burns off targeted nerve tissue. You may feel pressure or tingling as an electric current passes through the needle to guide its proper placement. A thermosensor at the tip of the needle regulates the heating temperature of targeted nerve tissue.


Am I a good candidate for a rhizotomy?

You may be a good candidate for rhizotomy if your pain responds to facet injections. Usually, candidates are already involved in physical therapy.

A rhizotomy is something your doctor may suggest if you experience chronic back pain or neck pain after other more conservative measures have failed.  Dr. Kaufman discusses options with you, reviews your medical history, and evaluates your overall health to ensure you can tolerate the procedure and benefit from it.


What can I expect after a rhizotomy?

You may likely experience some discomfort right after your rhizotomy procedure. This may include some unpleasantness at the injection site, including:

  • bruising 
  • swelling
  • soreness

Most patients can return to their daily routine, including work, the day after a rhizotomy procedure. You’ll notice an improvement in your pain in just a few short weeks following the process, typically 2-4 weeks.

You may experience soreness in your neck and back for the first few days after the procedure. A combination of icing and prescribed pain medication, only if necessary, can help alleviate your pain.

Don’t delay a moment longer. Call the office to learn more about how rhizotomy can help relieve your chronic pain or request an appointment online today.