What you can expect

By Mayo Clinic Staff

During radiofrequency neurotomy

Radiofrequency neurotomy is an outpatient procedure, so you'll go home later that same day. The procedure usually takes about an hour.

You'll wear a hospital gown and lie on your stomach on an X-ray table. A special X-ray machine (fluoroscope) will help the doctor position the radiofrequency needles precisely — so only the targeted nerve tissue will be affected.

An intravenous (IV) line will be placed in your arm or hand to deliver medication that will keep you comfortable during the procedure. Numbing medication will be injected into your skin before the radiofrequency needles are inserted.

After radiofrequency neurotomy

You'll be taken to another room to rest until you feel ready to go home. You might notice some soreness in the area where the needles were inserted, but this usually goes away in a day or two.

When you get home:

  • Use an ice pack on the injections sites if you have discomfort. Your doctor may recommend using the ice pack for 20 minutes three or four times during the first 24 hours after your procedure.
  • Avoid using a heating pad on the injection sites.
  • Avoid baths for two days. You may take a warm shower 24 hours after your procedure.
Nov. 26, 2014