Facet thermal ablation is a procedure that uses a laser to remove unwanted tissue from the facet joint and deadens the nerve in the joint that relays pain symptoms. The facet joints are located between the vertebrae, bony segments that compose the spinal column. Each vertebra has two facet joints, one on each side of the spinal column. Thermal ablation is the use of heat in the form of a laser to destroy the nerve that is sensing pain in the joint.
Conditions to Treat with Facet Thermal Ablation:
- Arthritis of the Spine
- Acute pain — Facet arthritis may cause localized pain in the neck or lower back where the joints are affected. The pain can be random and intermittent, ranging from almost constant to just a few times a month.
- Persistent tenderness or pain — One of the most common symptoms of facet arthritis is a continual tenderness at the site of the arthritis.
- Limited movement and flexibility — Often arthritis in the facet joints will cause limited movement and stiffness in the spine. You might experience more pain bending backward than forward.
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