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Old 09-07-2010, 11:46 AM   #1
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Anyone here go though the nerve burning procedure?

My new PM doc wants to do the procedure where they heat up a needle and burn the nerve endings to eliminate pain. I can't remember what it is called, exactly, but that's the long and short of it.

Personally, and after talking with my mother who is a psychologist and has quite a few patients that have been through the procedure and were not happy at all with it, I really do NOT want to have it done.
But if I decline, my PM doc will consider it non-compliant and most likely will not see me anymore. Not his exact words, but he alluded to as much during my first appointment with him last week.

I just feel like in order to keep getting the prescriptions that I need that I have to jump through their hoops even if I don't want to. I have been through similar situations with every doctor I have seen so far and while I understand that they want to treat the source of the pain and not just keep putting a bandaid on it in the form of pain meds, I also don't like the idea of the injections at all. I know too many people that have had no luck with them and say that it creates more pain than they're worth in the days following.

I am fine with the bandaid approach, and with such conservative treatment in the past (I was allowed up to 15mg of Oxycodone per day, then after pleading for an extra dose a day for months I finally was allowed 15mg twice a day...) it's not like I'm on huge amounts of narcotics that would warrant red flags.
I don't want it to sound like all I want is pills, but if they're working then I really don't understand what the problem is other than prejudice. Like I have said time and again, these doctors have no problem telling you to take as much OTC pain relievers as you need, but introduce a little narcotic into the pill and suddenly your seeking pain relief becomes a problem. It' all very frustrating for me right now.

 
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Old 09-07-2010, 12:39 PM   #2
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Re: Anyone here go though the nerve burning procedure?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brokend View Post
My new PM doc wants to do the procedure where they heat up a needle and burn the nerve endings to eliminate pain. I can't remember what it is called, exactly, but that's the long and short of it.

Personally, and after talking with my mother who is a psychologist and has quite a few patients that have been through the procedure and were not happy at all with it, I really do NOT want to have it done.
But if I decline, my PM doc will consider it non-compliant and most likely will not see me anymore. Not his exact words, but he alluded to as much during my first appointment with him last week.

I just feel like in order to keep getting the prescriptions that I need that I have to jump through their hoops even if I don't want to. I have been through similar situations with every doctor I have seen so far and while I understand that they want to treat the source of the pain and not just keep putting a bandaid on it in the form of pain meds, I also don't like the idea of the injections at all. I know too many people that have had no luck with them and say that it creates more pain than they're worth in the days following.

I am fine with the bandaid approach, and with such conservative treatment in the past (I was allowed up to 15mg of Oxycodone per day, then after pleading for an extra dose a day for months I finally was allowed 15mg twice a day...) it's not like I'm on huge amounts of narcotics that would warrant red flags.
I don't want it to sound like all I want is pills, but if they're working then I really don't understand what the problem is other than prejudice. Like I have said time and again, these doctors have no problem telling you to take as much OTC pain relievers as you need, but introduce a little narcotic into the pill and suddenly your seeking pain relief becomes a problem. It' all very frustrating for me right now.

I have had this procedure 3 times and got a great deal of relief. The whole idea of pain management is to find ways to manage your pain with the least amount of oral meds possible. Your doctor is doing exactly what any other pm specialist would do. I urge you to give it a try and see if you get relief.

I understand where you are coming from (if it ain't broke, don't "fix" it) but you may be surprised at how much better you feel if the procedure works. Most people get relief for 6 months or more and can cut down on the oral meds which is the doctors goal.

Good luck to you.

Carol

 
Old 09-07-2010, 04:20 PM   #3
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Re: Anyone here go though the nerve burning procedure?

I haven't had this (yet), but am in the process to find out if it will work for me. The key is having a nerve block done for that group of nerves. If the nerve block reduces your pain, then the radiofrequency ablation will probably work as well. Personally, if I had any hope at all if having this reduce my pain, I would do anything for it. I would honestly do anything to reduce my pain and thus minimize my need for opiates that did not cause me long-term damage. Just think, a short time of discomfort (for which you will have medication) for up to 6 months of relief. To me the trade-off is huge.

 
Old 09-08-2010, 12:32 PM   #4
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Re: Anyone here go though the nerve burning procedure?

I've had the RFA done 3 times as well for low back pain and I get around 9 to 12 months of pain relief (well, pain reduction) from it. The procedure isn't really bad and once the needle gets through the muscles and is placed and they check position, then they inject stuff to numb the area and 90 seconds at each level and you are done.

There really isn't a downside to having it done as the nerves will just regenerate in the area if it turns out not to help your situation.

For me, it has helped a great deal since before the first RFA I was unable to stand or walk for more than a few minutes at a time without massive pain. I still have some "bad" back days now and then but not like I was having all of the time before the RFAs. The cortisone shots never did much for me but the RFA is great.

 
Old 09-10-2010, 11:04 PM   #5
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Re: Anyone here go though the nerve burning procedure?

I have had a couple of RFA's (Radio Frequency Ablation) or RFG (Radio Frequency Lesioning). I get a 25-40% pain reduction for about 4-6 months.

A one really important thing to consider.

1) Make sure this procedure is done under "conscious sedation". This is where they give you a "cocktail" of IV meds that is enough to make you just on the borderline of being knocked out. They need to be able to communicate with you during the procedure but it hurts like heck without it. Trust me on this. I had a Dr. switch at the last minute and the new Dr. did not do Conscious Sedation and talked me into doing the procedure without it. It was the most painful experience I have ever endured and I have been through a lot. With "conscious sedation" it was somewhat irritating but, trust me, if the good Dr. knows what he is doing, you will feel no pain and feel like you are floating. It is my opinion that without sedation, this procedure is barbaric and should be considered torture.
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Old 09-11-2010, 01:58 PM   #6
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Re: Anyone here go though the nerve burning procedure?

Bilbo, I agree with you 100%....no sedation, no procedure!!!! The only thing I have had done without sedation was the discogram and let me tell you, that is beyond barbaric!


Carol

 
Old 09-12-2010, 12:13 PM   #7
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Re: Anyone here go though the nerve burning procedure?

I don't agree that he's doing what any other pain specialist would do. And 30mg oxy a day is nothing compared to what many of us are on. I would most certainly get a second opinion. It's your body, and if you are against such treatment, I would seek out a different physician, and explain very openly and honestly why you're getting a second opinion. The procedure does work for many people; there's no denying that. However, I wouldn't let anybody burn my nerves either. I also think some doctors tend to go with "fad" treatments, only to find out later that it wasn't such a great idea. Sooner or later, those "burned nerves" are going to rebell, in my opinion, and when they do, patients are going to be worse off than when they started. I'm sure many will disagree, but again - it's only my opinion.

 
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