Percutaneous radio frequency lumbar facet denervation: rhizolysis

  • B. Lavignolle
  • J. Senegas
  • J. L. Honton
  • J. Guerin
  • J. M. Caillé


Surgical denervation of lumbar facets was first suggested by Rees [49] in 1971, with a percutaneous scalpel technique. Shealy [53] introduced the procedure in North America, but changed to percutaneous radio frequency denervation of spinal facets, as an alternative to treatment of chronic back pain. The simple thesis was that back pain and referred pain did not originate from the intervertebral discs, but rather from painful degenerated facet joints. Thus, severing the sensory nerve supply from these joints would cure the pain instantly. In spite of the obvious overenthusiasm of the innovators of the procedure, the theory of facet denervation was attractive and interest in this technique was aroused in the patients who had not responded to the usual conservative therapy, before considering lumbar fusion.


Facet Joint Lumbar Fusion Spinal Manipulative Therapy Lumbar Facet Lumbar Spondylosis 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Lavignolle
    • 1
  • J. Senegas
    • 1
  • J. L. Honton
    • 2
  • J. Guerin
    • 3
  • J. M. Caillé
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Anatomy and of Spine Surgery and RehabilitationUniversity Hospital BordeauxBordeauxFrance
  2. 2.Department of Orthopedic SurgeryUniversity Hospital BordeauxBordeauxFrance
  3. 3.Department of NeurosurgeryUniversity Hospital BordeauxBordeauxFrance
  4. 4.Department of RadiologyUniversity Hospital BordeauxBordeauxFrance

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