EuroPainClinics® Study IV

Endoscopic rhizotomy is a procedure that utilizes radiofrequency ablation to endoscopically remove problematic nerve roots at the facet joints with the help of x-ray guidance.”

Facet joint pain encompasses a significant portion of possible sources of pain in patients with vertebrogenic algic syndrome. A typical symptom is intermittent radiation of pain in the back and legs. The cause of this pain is irritation of the medial branch of the dorsal nerve root, which innervates a facet joint. Confirmation of the source of pain involves using a local anaesthetic to block the medial branches of several vertebral areas. If, through this test, the facet joints are determined to be the source of pain the patient’s condition is indicated for radiofrequency ablation of the nerve branches.

EuroPainClinics® Study IV (EPCS IV) is a prospective observational comparative study that will use pain scales to analyse changes in the neurological status of nerves of patients who undergo the minimally invasive procedure: radiofrequency nerve ablation at the lumber facet joints.

The study aims to investigate documented clinical results of the neurological conditions of patients, to compare pain scales and the use of analgesics over a number of time periods: prior to the procedure, 6 weeks post-procedure, as well as 6 and 12 months post-procedure. The data will be subsequently statistically analysed.

Procedure Specifications

Endoscopic rhizotomy (facet joint denervation) is carried out through the insertion of an endoscope to the medial spinal nerve area with the help of mobile C-arm x-ray guidance. The tissue surrounding the medial nerves is endoscopically visualized and dissected with a sterile grasper to expose the nerve structure. Finally, a radiofrequency probe is used to ablate the problematic medial branch nerve under direct endoscopic control. The procedure is concluded with the removal of the endoscope and the small incision is closed with 1-2 skin sutures.