Applies to: Neck, Back
One of the treatments that someone who suffers from pain radiating from the facet joints may consider is a facet joint ablation. In this procedure the nerves that carry pain signals to the facet joints are removed. The facet joint is the joint that connects the spinal vertebrae together allowing them to move. The facet joints are served by the small medial branch nerves which carry pain signals from the back and neck joints to the brain.
When a physician uses a minimally invasive procedure that cauterizes the medial branch nerves with a laser, this is called a facet nerve ablation. It is similar to a root canal when the nerve serving the tooth is destroyed but the tooth remains fully functional. This procedure is performed on an outpatient basis.