A rhizotomy injection is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat neck and back pain, according to the Laser Spine Institute. Patients who are eligible for treatment using a rhizotomy injection may be suffering from a variety of degenerative spinal disorders including facet disease, spinal stenosis or arthritis of the spine.
Rhizotomy injections are most often associated with relieving pain caused by facet disease, notes the Laser Spine Institute. Facet joints are structures of the vertebrae that combine cartilage with a surrounding protective capsule to connect the spinal vertebrae together and facilitate smooth movement among the bones. When a facet joint degenerates, the condition is often asymptomatic. However, patients can experience localized pain, radiating pain, tingling, numbness or muscle weakness. When such pain is reported, a doctor may inject anti-inflammatory steroidal compounds such as cortisone into the affected area. An anti-inflammatory injection can then be followed by a rhizotomy injection, which destroys local nerve fibers carrying pain signals from the affected joint to the brain.
Many areas of the body can experience pain symptoms caused by facet disease and benefit from a rhizotomy injection, adds the Laser Spine Institute. Depending on where the facet degeneration has occurred on the spine, some parts of the body that may be affected include shoulders, hands, rib cage, buttocks and upper legs.