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Old 06-17-2008, 08:41 PM   #2
Jema X Jema X is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Australia
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Re: Has anyone ever had Facet Nerve Injections - need advice re Pain Management Pleas

Hey Tara,

I've had about 12 facet blocks now and each time you have one, they work for less time. The nerve does grow back but that's if they burn it off - it takes usually 12 months or so. This is not a painful procedure - provided it's done in a hospital setting with some medazalam or something to calm you down, and lots of local anaesthetic in first. You do have to lie still for 15 minutes or so per block. You shouldn't need any additional pain relief but I've ended up in emergency afterward because of it upsetting other areas of my spine. Do I recommend them? Well, that's a hard one. If I'm 100% honest I have to say No, I did them to please my PM and because they did provide perhaps 10% relief. I have stopped having them now because they cause scar tissue over time - something my PM didn't tell me! You will be up and about the next day, I'd almost guarantee this and you may get excellent relief - I now people that do. Most of my pain is nerve pain, so blocks are really for treating any joint pain that crops up - again, I wont' be having any more.

This is one where you'll really have to follow your heart - and is this something that you'll have to go through in order for you pm to keep treating you? Can you get the blocks done at a lesser cost by someone else? I don't know how much they cost over there but as a day patient in Australia it's around $1250 - $3250 depending on how many he does, if they are just diagnostic (local anaesthetic and cortisone) or if they are denervations (where they burn the nerve back so it doesn't regrow for 12 months or so). Normal blocks are cheaper, denervations more expensive. Blocks are supposed to last 3 - 6 months with just the local and cortisone but to be honest they don't last that long in my experience.

Good luck, Tara, you'll make the right decision for you. Blocks are expensive but not painful, don't worry about that. The problem with the is that they are not a 'fix' and they honestly make you worse to start with and, in my experience, work about 10% as well as they should. The awful thing was that my old PM used to make me feel like I had to keep having them and that I had to say how great they were. I hope I haven't put you off, as I said, I do know of people who think they're the bees knees. Good luck, mate.