Spine & Orthopedic Pain Centers

Facet Joint Thermal Ablation

Facet thermal ablation is a nonsurgical, minimally invasive procedure that cleans the facet joints, remove bone spurs, and numb the nerves that cause pain and limit mobility.

Facet joints are the connections between two vertebrae outside of the spinal cord. They are lined with cartilage. Facet joints are susceptible to wear-and-tear. These types of degenerative changes my result in inflammation, tears, and even pain or a pinching of the nerve exiting the spinal column.


After a facet thermal ablation procedure, you should not feel pain in or around a damaged joint facet. It doesn’t reverse the damage caused by degeneration, but it is an effective treatment for many severe back pain symptoms.



What Conditions Can Be Treated by Facet Thermal Ablation?

People with this condition usually have to turn their whole body to look to the left or right. The pain and stiffness associated with this condition can make it difficult to stand up straight or get out of a chair, and they may walk hunched over. The specific symptoms depend on where the affected joint is located and what nerve roots it affects.

Facet thermal ablation may be used to treat a number of back and spinal conditions.

These include:

  • Facet joint syndrome
  • Facet hypertrophy
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Annular tearing
  • Degenerative facet joints

Any of these conditions may result in several symptoms, the most common of which are chronic or intermittent pain, numbness, tenderness and loss of spinal flexibility.

Other symptoms include:

  • Muscular weakness
  • Difficulty sitting or standing
  • Loss of bladder, bowel or sexual function or control
  • Oversensitivity to cold and humid weather
  • Fever, migraines, or insomnia
  • Temporary paralysis

Any symptoms in which the spinal cartilage degrades or has degraded can be treated with facet thermal ablation.

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