Atlantic Spine Center's Dr. Kaliq Chang debunks 3 myths about endoscopic rhizotomy

Endoscopic facet rhizotomy can relieve chronic pain caused by facet joint syndrome, chronic neck or back pain or failed back surgery syndrome, according to Kaliq Chang, MD, of West Orange, N.J.-based Atlantic Spine Center.

However, misconceptions regarding endoscopic facet rhizotomy can keep people from seeking the procedure, said Dr. Chang, an interventional pain management specialist.

Here are three misconceptions Dr. Chang cleared up:

Myth: Endoscopic rhizotomy is a short-term fix
Fact: Endoscopic rhizotomy can relieve pain for months or years

Whereas the effect of radiofrequency ablation is only expected to last six months, endoscopic rhizotomy surgery more effectively targets pain sources by destroying nerve fibers that carry pain signals to the brain. Endoscopic rhizotomy is slightly more invasive but can offer up to several years of pain relief.

Myth: Endoscopic rhizotomy is dangerous
Fact: Endoscopic rhizotomy is safe and highly effective

Endoscopic rhizotomy is a minimally invasive approach that only targets pain-producing nerves around the facet joints. This level of precision is safer for the nerves, Dr. Chang said.

Myth: Endoscopic rhizotomy can only help a select few
Fact: Endoscopic rhizotomy is increasingly popular and useful

Several chronic back problems often stem from the facet joints, so endoscopic rhizotomy surgery may help many people suffering from back pain. Plus, patients recover quickly from the procedure — "most patients feel much better within days," Dr. Chang said.

More articles on outpatient spine:
Physicians select top facilities for spine & orthopedic procedures
Drs. Francis Pflum & Sunil Kukreja join Datta Endoscopic Back Surgery and Pain Center — 5 facts
Arkansas practice now features MIS surgery for neck, arm pain

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