Skip to main content


Michigan Advanced Pain & Spine -  - Interventional Pain Management

Michigan Advanced Pain & Spine

Interventional Pain Management Specialists & Minimally Invasive Spine Surgeons located in Warren, MI

If you live with pain that doesn’t improve with standard medical treatments, it may be time to consider if rhizotomy can help. Martin Quiroga, DO, MBA, at Michigan Advanced Pain & Spine has helped many patients overcome their pain and restore their quality of life with rhizotomy. This minimally invasive procedure can ease your pain for nine months to several years. To learn how it can help you get back to an active life, call the office in Warren, Michigan, or schedule an appointment online today.

Rhizotomy Q & A

What is rhizotomy?

Rhizotomy is a minimally invasive procedure to stop pain signals from traveling through a precisely targeted spinal nerve. As a result, the nerve can’t transmit pain signals to your brain, and you stop feeling the discomfort.

What pain conditions benefit from rhizotomy?

Your provider may recommend rhizotomy to alleviate chronic arm, leg, back, and neck pain. Since the procedure targets spinal nerves, it stops pain signals from anywhere in your body and relieves many types of pain.

These are a few examples of the conditions treated with rhizotomy:

  • Facet joint arthritis
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Herniated disc
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Trigeminal neuralgia
  • Muscle spasms
  • Sacroiliac joint dysfunction
  • Complex regional pain syndrome
  • Knee, hip, and shoulder joint pain

Rhizotomy often helps patients prevent surgery and stop taking pain medications.

How do I know if rhizotomy will work?

Before undergoing a rhizotomy, your provider does a diagnostic nerve block; they inject a local anesthetic into the targeted nerve. If the drug effectively relieves your pain, it verifies that rhizotomy will also work.

What happens during a rhizotomy?

Several rhizotomy techniques wound or destroy the nerve using different methods. Physicians may inject a chemical at the nerve or perform a direct visual rhizotomy and cut the nerve. However, the Michigan Advanced Pain & Spine team primarily uses radiofrequency energy, a procedure called radiofrequency ablation.

During radiofrequency ablation, your provider gives you a sedative and uses a local anesthetic to numb the area. 

Using fluoroscopy, a type of X-ray that provides images in real-time, they guide a hollow needle (cannula) to the nerve and send out a controlled burst of energy. Heat from the energy precisely burns the nerve, creating a wound that blocks nerve signals.

What can I expect after rhizotomy? 

You can walk around right after the procedure and go home after spending a short time in the office for observation. Some patients experience immediate pain relief; for others, it could take a few weeks. However, most people feel the difference within 10 days.

Your pain relief lasts nine months to two years or longer. The length of time depends on whether the nerve regrows and how long it takes to regenerate.

Call Michigan Advanced Pain & Spine or schedule an appointment online today to learn how a rhizotomy can ease your pain.