Over time, facet joints can degenerate, causing them to become enlarged or hypertrophied. This often results in spinal stenosis, where the spinal cord and nerve roots are compressed within the spinal canal.
Laser Spine Institute addresses this condition with a procedure called a facet thermal ablation. After IV sedation and a local anesthetic are administered, a small incision is made and a round Depuy tube is put into the incision. This tube allows us to perform the procedure with minimal damage to the surrounding muscles. The muscles are pushed out of the way and are not torn or cut.
The facet thermal ablation is performed through a small tube. The laser and irrigation are all placed in the tube and surgery is performed on the facet joint. The surgeon will use the laser to debride the joint and deaden the nerve that innervates the joint. This procedure typically takes about 40 minutes and will resolve the pain associated with the facet joint. After one to two hours of monitoring, the patient (with a Care Partner) is free to go.
We generally encourage patients to take several short walks the afternoon or evening of their facet thermal ablation procedure. Following a day of rest and recovery, the patient then returns for a postoperative visit to get clearance from the physician to return home.
Sticking with our dedication to serving as many patients as possible, Laser Spine Institute offers additional procedures to treat a variety of the most common conditions that plague our patients’ everyday lives. Our other procedures include Decompression with Interlaminar Stabilization™ Device, cervical disc replacement, discectomy, RegenaDISC®, lateral lumbar interbody fusion (LLIF), anterior cervical discectomy fusion (ACDF), foraminotomy, and laminotomy.