Has anyone out there had a radio frequency ablation procedure done? Just went to my PM do - who I totally dislike - and he said he could only do this on one side - my left because it's the worst - and that it was quite a bit more painful procedure than the damn steroid shots. I don't think I am up for that much pain to MAYBE take away half of my daily pain. HELP!!?????
I had an ablation back in 9/2008, it has helped some. I am now having severe burning rt buttock(fusion 2006). I am now scheduled for another ablation 2/10/08. I hope it helps you, it did help me some. I am willing to try anything to get some relief of this back and leg pain.good luck!
I had the ablation about 6 months ago and had very good results with it. I had both sides of the facet joints done but the doc told me the protocol was that they can't do both sides on the same day so I had about 3 weeks in-between treatments. I can't imagine why your doc said he could only do one side for you - there really isn't a downside to the treatment. Worst case, even if the treatment doesn't give you relief, the nerves will just regenerate 6-12 months later and no problems.
I think I will call the doc and see about doing another session with the ablation since I am starting to get some of the earlier pain issues due to back pain coming back (foot numbness, leg pain, shooting pains up my leg into my back). Even if I get only 6 months of relief, I'll be happy to go through the procedure each time. I'd say the treatment took me from a 7-8 on the pain scale down to a 2 for most of the time with the occasional bad day here and there.
I don't think the RF treatment was really any worse than the normal injections as far as pain goes. They do numb it a little but you still need to be able to feel part of the procedure to tell the doc where/what you are feeling.
I would say I was a little more sore after the RF treatment than the normal injections and the drive home wasn't the greatest but I just went home and got the ice pack and a pain pill and went to bed. The next day was still a little sore but certainly managable and went to work with no problems.
Hi! I have had this procedure done several times on L3-L5. It really has lowered my pain level! My doctor always does both sides at the same time, so I have 6 different nerves done. My doctor gives me numbing shots and versed to relax you. The RFA is a bit more painful than the shots, partially because it takes longer. For me the total amount of time is about 45 minutes (each level is burned for 90 seconds, approximately). If my pain gets bad, I tell the doctor and he has added fentanyl for pain during the procedure. I take painkillers and ice for a few days after the procedure. Then I can go about my day, but for a couple weeks I have to take breaks when pain gets higher. The RFA lasts 8 months for me, but it does vary by person. I know it will wear off sometime over the next month, so I am gearing up to have the procedure again It is really worth it though-my pain levels are so much better and I can sit longer now. Take care, Kera4
I'm glad this worked for you - I am still on the fence a little. Mainly because I dislike my doctor so much--he's so damn cold/detached. When I was asking about the pain level for this - with it's bigger needle, etc. he just acted like it's no big deal - when I literally get NO pain medicine. I asked him if he ever had this done - like in med school- just to know the level of pain - and he looked at me like I was absolutely crazy. I just need a new doc. thanks for the reply, tho!
Wow, that worries me some - did you have that pain in you right buttock before the ablation? I really have a somewhat painfree day - some dull aching, but not bad. Sleeping is my huge problem- laying down just hurts. I am a little afraid of the ablation adding to my problems and having daytime pain too.
Hi! I agree, you want to be comfortable with the personality of your doctor. My doctor is a Physiatrist (Physical medicine and rehabilitation) who specializes in the spine. He is very caring and thorough. And with the RFA, you need some pain medicines administered during the procedure. They want you awake enough to answer questions and feel it a little bit. But, there is no reason to go through it without pain meds. I would definitely get a second opinion doctor, because this is an important procedure. (Not that shots aren't important-but this is a bit more invasive). Let us know what you decide-Kera4