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What is facet joint denervation?

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Quick Answer

Radiofrequency facet joint denervation is a minimally invasive procedure for central neck or back pain stemming from the facet joints, explains Oregon Health & Science University. While joint damage commonly arises from inflammatory diseases and injury or accident, aging and normal activity may also be to blame.

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Full Answer

The surgery involves the doctor injecting an anesthetic to numb the nerve attached to the harmed joint. The needle is then heated to damage a portion of the nerve, preventing it from sending pain signals, according to Oregon Health & Science University.

Discomfort, local bruising and soreness for one or two weeks is normal, and often due to muscle and nerve irritation, explains Northern Private Pain Centre. While full recovery may take several weeks, most patients are able to return to work within two days of the procedure.

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