Facet joint denervations are aimed at providing a permanent relief of facet joint pain. They are carried out by our Consultants in Pain Management and surgeons using a radio frequency probe under sedation as day cases. Facet joints are situated at the back of the spine. They are supplied by small pain fibres, which can be destroyed. It is important to understand that before denervation is considered ordinary facet blocks should be performed to make certain that denervation would be successful. Indeed denervation is only performed should ordinary blocks prove to be initially successful but temporary in effect.
These denervations are carried out in exactly the same way as routine facet joint blocks using a probe which stuns the little nerves supplying the facet joints but not the ones going down the legs.
The procedure takes about 20 minutes. It is carried out as a day case and the recovery is very similar to that of facet joint blocks.
The risks are all rare but include infection, CSF leak, nerve injury and it may not work