I have been reading about the Rhizotomy procedure and having second thoughts about my upcoming fusion. I have a completely collapsed disk - L5/S1 and I had the diagnositic facet joint injections which showed my pain is coming from my facet joints. Now I'm wondering if I should cancel my fusion surgery since it is so invasive and try the Rhizotomy. I will ask my dr. Monday but wanted to get some feedback from you all. I don't want just the facet joint injections with steriods b/c I don't want the steroids and I know they so so temporary. Has anyone had good results with a Rhizotomy? I am in so much pain now that I have to do something but getting scared about the fusion.
Dear Harmony, Hi! I have had good success with rhizotomy at L3, L4 and L5. I also have a bulging/degenerated disc at L5-S1, but it is not the source of my pain (had a discogram with no pain generated). My pain is from facet joint arthritis. I also had pain relief from facet shots, but it was temporary. I got the rhizotomy in Oct. 2005 and it lasted 8 months until June 2006. I had it repeated in June, and will definitely repeat when it wears off! I, too, did not want to keep putting more steroids in there, and the rhizotomy lasts so much longer.
The procedure lasts about 45 minutes, and they test each pain nerve before the burn it. You will receive mild sedation and numbing shots so it is not too bad. I was sore for a couple days afterwards and then it started to feel better. I also have pain in my sacroiliac joints, so I am dealing with that. But, my lumbar pain is so much better! Take care, Kera4
I had a rhizotomy and it did not take all my pain away. It did take care of the nagging leg and buttock pain. I also had the facett joint injections and got some relief. My nerves regenerated and the pain was really bad after about 6 months but because I did not have great success with the rhizotomy I am having a fusion on Monday
Well in my opinion, you have two separate issues going on there then. If the facet joints are causing you pain.. you could get rhriz on those, but you still have the "collapsed" disc, that isnt going to go away but continue to compress your spine and all levels above are also being put on major overdrive because of it.
If you are having "strong" reservations about the fusion surgery, have you discussed your feelings wth your surgeon and also ask if you do nothing with this collapsed disc.. "what happens" to you, ie- that particular disc/region, and all others above and below it?
Surgery is something you have to somewhat accept for yourself, otherwise, I would hesitate to have it done until you are at peace with it.
All the best to you Harmony.
"believe in the beauty of your dreams"- E. Roosevelt
L5/S1 bulging @ 18, now 46; still there (but no pain)
Fusion at L4/L5 Apr -2006
Solidly Fused Nov-2006
A Success, but still improving!
I ask my Dr. about that once because my neighbor's grandmother was bone on bone and she's fine No pain . My Dr. said she could have fused on her own. I wouldn't want to wait that long in pain to see if I would fuse alone or not. But the rhizotomy may help for the other pain. I don't know if it would be worth waiting for , personally I think if your in ALOT of pain and you tried everything else you should do the surgery.
Hi everyone! Thanks for your replies. They have been helpful to me to give me some insight into my decision. I have decided to go ahead with the fusion since I do have the collapsed disk which isn't going to go away and may cause other problems with my spine that the rhizotomy won't take care of. I'm glad it has helped some of you. I am at peace now with the decision to have the fusion - although, I admit a little scared. If I focus on the good outcome I will hopefully have, it will be worth it. I am to the point that I can't stand or walk for a minute without severe pain and have to use a wheelchair for any distance. It's been too long also that I have waited.
Thanks again for your replies. :-)
I don't think Pepper's going to on here too soon. Her daughter has pneumonia, so they're laid up together right now. Taking her daughter to the doctor pretty much wiped Pepper out.
So I'll jump in to answer for you. Look at the blue menu bar at the top and click on "quick links." There are links there to go to all your personal info.
Glad to hear things are progressing for you. And you have a month to prepare. That's good, enough time, but not too long. My husband thought I was crazy, buying months worth of laundry detergent, bathroom tissue, cleansers, toothpaste, bottled juices, soup, pasta, and just about every other nonperishable we use. But it really paid off after the surgery. Made life easier for everyone. I used all the uncooked meats in the freezer and filled it instead with all sorts of precooked foods that my teens could pull out and pop in the oven.
It was a huge relief to me just to have made the decision to move ahead to surgery. You may have some days of anxiety as your date gets closer. Just know that's normal. Keep busy and keep the big picture in view. Don't look back. You're one of the back buddies now, and we'll be here for you!
Thanks so much for your support and encouragement! :-) It is very helpful. I'm sorry to hear Pepper's daughter is so sick, thanks for letting me know.
I'll be here a lot I'm sure and look forward to hearing from you again. Take care and have a good day!