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Rhizolysis is a specialised form of treatment and is also known as RF (radiofrequency) Lesioning. The aim is to cause heat damage to the nerves that supply the facet or sacroiliac joints to stop it sending signals back to the spine.

Why you might need it

Rhizolysis is a specialised form of treatment and is also known as RF (radiofrequency) Lesioning. The aim is to cause heat damage to the nerves that supply the facet or sacroiliac joints to stop it sending signals back to the spine which can cause pain.

It is very likely that you will have already tried other treatments to relieve the pain in your spine, such as pain killers and physiotherapy before being referred for this treatment.

Symptoms can be relieved for between three months to a year in about half of all patients.

Who will do it?

Our patients are at the heart of what we do and we want you to be in control of your care. To us, that means you can choose the consultant you want to see, and when you want. They'll be with you every step of the way.

All of our consultants are of the highest calibre and benefit from working in our modern, well-equipped hospitals.

Our consultants have high standards to meet, often holding specialist NHS posts and delivering expertise in complex sub-speciality surgeries. Many of our consultants have international reputations for their research in their specialised field.

Before your treatment

You will have a formal consultation with a healthcare professional. During this time you will be able to explain your medical history, symptoms and raise any concerns that you might have.

We will also discuss with you whether any further diagnostic tests, such as scans or blood tests, are needed. Any additional costs will be discussed before further tests are carried out.

Preparing for your treatment

We've tried to make your experience with us as easy and relaxed as possible.

For more information on visiting hours, our food, what to pack if you're staying with us, parking and all those other important practicalities, please visit our patient information pages.

Our dedicated team will also give you tailored advice to follow in the run up to your visit.

The procedure

You will be lying on your front for the procedure, which usually takes 30-60 minutes. Local anaesthetic is injected into the skin and fine, hollow needles are passed toward the nerves under CT or X-ray guidance. When the needle is in the right place a probe (thin wire) is then passed through the needle.

The position of the probe is very important so it is checked by two tests:

  •  Sensation – You may feel tightness, pressure or tingling in your back
  • Motor (movement) – You may feel some throbbing in your back. If there is throbbing into the leg then the probe is repositioned.

When the probe is in the correct place, the tip is then heated to 80 degrees centigrade to cause a heat lesion to the nerve.

Local anaesthetic is injected after the probe has been heated to relieve discomfort after the procedure.

Aftercare

It is important that you rest for a couple of hours before you start to resume your normal activities. Do not do any excessive exercise or heavy work for the first few days.

Continue to take your pain tablets until you notice any improvement in your symptoms.

You can remove the dressing over the injection site the following morning.

There are no routine follow-ups after a rhizolysis procedure.

Why choose Spire?

We are committed to delivering excellent individual care and customer service across our network of hospitals, clinics and specialist care centres around the UK. Our dedicated and highly trained team aim to achieve consistently excellent results. For us it's more than just treating patients, it's about looking after people.

How much does it cost?

A fixed price for this treatment may be available on enquiry and following an initial consultation.

You can trust Spire Bristol Hospital to provide you with a single, fixed price (1) so there are no surprises. And, through our carefully chosen partner (2) you can even be considered for interest free finance.

We’re here to help you with making these important choices, so you’re then free to concentrate on your treatment and on getting back to being you.

(1) Important: Please read Spire’s terms and conditions for full details of what’s included and excluded in your fixed price* when paying for yourself.

(2) Zebra Finance Ltd trading as Zebra Health Finance , Lincoln House, Stephensons Way, Wyvern Business Park, Derby, DE21 6LY. 

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Important to note

The treatment described on this page may be adapted to meet your individual needs, so it's important to follow your healthcare professional's advice and raise any questions that you may have with them.