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    Old 01-16-2006, 06:25 AM   #1
    rabbitbunnies
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    Who Has Or Having This Done ???radio Frequency Ablation Of The Facets Surgery?

    [COLOR=Magenta]Hi[/COLOR]
    [COLOR=Orange]I was wondering who also had this done and what the time from of recoving was for them ..?? I am schedule to have this surgery done this week ..I am kind of getting scared and just want everything go alright . If they had this done ..how long was it before the pain complety had gone away ? would appriecated the advice ..god bless[/COLOR]

     
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    Old 01-16-2006, 02:50 PM   #2
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    Re: Who Has Or Having This Done ???radio Frequency Ablation Of The Facets Surgery?

    [COLOR=Indigo][FONT=Comic Sans MS]I have had this done. Not to worry. I guess it's considered an o/p "surgery". Really it's a lot [B]MORE[/B] like getting injections in your back and ALL of the literature you can find will tell you that there's NO recovery time (i.e. you should be back to work the next day). I would not go so far as to say that. I got mine done on a Wed. and had my PM doc write me a note to be off work Thurs/Fri (so it wouldn't count against my vaca/personal time--that was our policy). That way I had the weekend too. So it's variously call Radio Frequency Denervation/Ablation/Rhizotomy. Why so many names? You got me. I had 7 on one side and 5 one the other b/c of the extent of my degenerative disc disease. They just use local anesesthia (you have to be able to talk to them)and put in this really thin needle and the tip of it heats up and melts the myelin sheath off the nerve that goes to an area affected by a bulging/herniated disc or entrapped nerve root. They usually use IV Fentanyl for pain as it's somewhat more painful than the test procedure they do ahead of time--or so they say. Neither one struck me as particularly painful in contrast to what I go through every day. The minute I got up and walked away from where they had done the procedure--"Wha-lah--no pain in those areas!" OH! AND THERE'S NO NUMBNESS ON THE OUTSIDE. You wouldn't know you'd gotten the thing done--except that the pain is gone. I turned out NOT to need the time off either. I wasn't sore at all. I'd imagined a more grim procedure. Maybe if I had gone to work I would have regretted it. It would have been different than lounging around, drinking coffee and reading that's for sure! Unfortunately for me, I'm one of those "fast healers" so my myelin has regrown and my pain is back 5 months post-procedure. They say after you have it done a couple of times it becomes permanent. We can only hope.[/FONT][/COLOR]

    Last edited by dango; 01-16-2006 at 02:54 PM.

     
    Old 01-16-2006, 03:59 PM   #3
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    Re: Who Has Or Having This Done ???radio Frequency Ablation Of The Facets Surgery?

    [QUOTE=dangovt][COLOR=Indigo][FONT=Comic Sans MS]I have had this done. Not to worry. I guess it's considered an o/p "surgery". Really it's a lot [B]MORE[/B] like getting injections in your back and ALL of the literature you can find will tell you that there's NO recovery time (i.e. you should be back to work the next day). I would not go so far as to say that. I got mine done on a Wed. and had my PM doc write me a note to be off work Thurs/Fri (so it wouldn't count against my vaca/personal time--that was our policy). That way I had the weekend too. So it's variously call Radio Frequency Denervation/Ablation/Rhizotomy. Why so many names? You got me. I had 7 on one side and 5 one the other b/c of the extent of my degenerative disc disease. They just use local anesesthia (you have to be able to talk to them)and put in this really thin needle and the tip of it heats up and melts the myelin sheath off the nerve that goes to an area affected by a bulging/herniated disc or entrapped nerve root. They usually use IV Fentanyl for pain as it's somewhat more painful than the test procedure they do ahead of time--or so they say. Neither one struck me as particularly painful in contrast to what I go through every day. The minute I got up and walked away from where they had done the procedure--"Wha-lah--no pain in those areas!" OH! AND THERE'S NO NUMBNESS ON THE OUTSIDE. You wouldn't know you'd gotten the thing done--except that the pain is gone. I turned out NOT to need the time off either. I wasn't sore at all. I'd imagined a more grim procedure. Maybe if I had gone to work I would have regretted it. It would have been different than lounging around, drinking coffee and reading that's for sure! Unfortunately for me, I'm one of those "fast healers" so my myelin has regrown and my pain is back 5 months post-procedure. They say after you have it done a couple of times it becomes permanent. We can only hope.[/FONT][/COLOR][/QUOTE] thank you so VERY VERY MUCH for the input but maybe I didn't read what your injury was ?but I AM VERY THANKFUL that you shared your feelings /soul to me . my surgery "rfa" is on the 26th of this month .The injections I had WOW ..JUST thinking about that ..it gives me chills down the spine .I do hope we can REALLY become freinds .. I am also taking the ACTIQ LOLLYPOPS. .. ARE Fentanyl 1600 mcg . i had to have an extra thru the injections but as I sit here now .. 5 days after the injections . they are beginning to wear off.but come hell or high water bring the RF on . if I gone thru the terrible stabbing pain bring it on surgery wise please tell me all about your back injury
    godbless .....tc

     
    Old 01-18-2006, 11:11 PM   #4
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    Question Re: Who Has Or Having This Done ???radio Frequency Ablation Of The Facets Surgery?

    [FONT=Arial]Me Too, I'm also Interested in Radio-Frequency Denervation![/FONT]

    I'm new to Bulletin Boards, so this may be Awkward, at first.
    Due to the new Medicare changes, on Jan. 1st., 2006 I lost a good number of my Doctors, as I was forced to join an HMO...a third-class one, at that. But I digress! I've had problems with my Back since approx. 1998, or so. At first, it interfered mostly with some of my Yoga Asanas (Postures); it was mild Back pain, and I could Stand up approx. 1/2 hr. at a time, and it interfered only moderately, with my Life, (I had already stopped Performing by then--I used to be a Musician--and thus only rarely carried heavy things. Back Physical Therapy, did very little, and even after the Treatment I could not return to Yoga. i slowly became less and less mobile, as the pain increased, and by 2000, I was given a Wheelchair, and a Shower Chair, plus had an M.R.I., and had an Epidural Steroid Shot. That was the worst thing I, (in my particular case) could've done. I went from 10 minutes standing up time, to 1 minute standing up,,,just like that!!! The same Doctor suggested I have my L-4 & L-5 Vertebrae Fused. I thought: This Doctor just made me lose 9 minutes standing up time, and now he want to fuse my Vertebrae??? Huh! Huh!!!! I went to get a Second Opinion, from a Neurosurgeon, who found problems with sensation on my lower Extremeties. He sent me to a Physiatrist, to have Velocity and Electrical Studies done. At first, the Dx was: Peripheral Neuropathy, but a month later, on second Tests, the P.N. was gone, and to my knowledge, never returned. Frustrated, and in terrible Pain, I went to a Neurologist, who tested my Brain, and found me to have Aphasias, and A.D.D., but found nothing on my Back. In Desperation, I went to Johns Hopkins to see an Orthopedic Specialist, who also took M.R.I.s, and sent me home, telling me they couldn't do anything for me. By then, I was already a Patient at a local Pain Clinic, and taking up to 40 Mg. Oxycontin/day. I didn't like the Hallucinatory Side Effects, and we searched for alternatives. I was given a TENS Unit, and w/in 9 Months, my Skin no longer responded to its stimulation. I was also doing mild Aquatic Exercises, (for Seniors, I'm 51). Eventually, after an insane Hospital Nurse refused to give me my Oxycontin when it was time to take it, while i was at the Hospital, for an unrelated thing, I went back to my Pain Dr., and asked for something else. He put me on the Duragesic Patch, which starting at 25µcg/72 Hrs. (3 days patches), quickly moved past 50 up to 100 µcg Patch, every 3 days, ( also wear a Orthopedic Brace. Not the flimsy stuff you see people not wearing at places like Home Depot, or Target, but the kind one wears under one's Clothes because it's big, and very, very Visible, (I don't like for people to treat me like an Invalid, although, thankfully, I DO have a Disabled License Plate, and for about 2 years, I was pretty much Wheelchair-bound. But then my husband accidentally broke the W/H Hook in my Chair-Lift, and so I just use my Walker, and sit a lot.
    At present, the Duragesic Patches and the Lidoderm Patches, along with the Brace, and Compounded Rx Ketoprofen Topical Cream, for Breakthrough Pain, (and a LOT of Dirty Looks from e-v-e-r-y- new Family Doctor I go to, when they have to keep me on the Duragesic Patch, and frequent allusions to the "Addictiveness of these Drugs...(to Junkies, perhaps, but the only thing I'm a Junkie of is NO P-A-I-N!!!)...AND SO ON...has made it increasingly Stressfull and Difficult to Continue in this Treatment I want something more Permanent, and non-Drug-oriented. Trouble is: my new 3rd-rate Doctor, at a 3rd-Rate Clinic, (for people like me...on Disability, and thus Poor...) wanted to send me to a third-rate Pain Clinic, I've been to before, who I happen to know are VERY Anti-Drug, and believe in Will-Power...Tomorrow!!! I'm Desperate! I need Help!!! I've just heard of this --Potentially no-drug-involved/more Permanent Treatment called "Radio-Frequency Denervation," and though hopeful, I'm stuck in this 3rd-rate Medicare+Extra Help (i.e. Medicaid) HMO, which'll probably require me to have all types of Proof of need, just like they've Stopped me cold on Neurontin, (for the Nerves on the Spine), this week, and are demanding all sorts of Documentation as to Why I'm even taking it...One thing I can't understand. I'm a very well-versed person, when it comes to my HealthCare, and particularly my Back, (although I gave up on it, for a couple of years), IF this Treatment has been around, as the lit says, since the late 1970s. How Come I've never heard of it? And how come I had to hear about it in the local News? And not from my Doctors??? Can someone enlighten me about this?

    Is this the possiblility of a Normal Life, again? Being able to resume Yoga? Being able to wear clothing a size smaller, since I may not have to wear this Brace? And if the MRIs don't show the disk too far out off the Spine, then how come the Brace helps my Back Pain so much, that I was able to cut my Pain Meds in Half, upon putting it on 4 years ago?

    If M.R.I.s are so good ("It's better than Exploratory Surgery..." I'm told by a Specialist), then why doesn't it show the problem, and what pray tell me IS my problem? For awhile there, the symptoms I had made me believe I had ALS. Perhaps that would've been better, if it was true. ! No! I'm not Depressed! I'm just Fed-up with False Hopes. I'm fed up with this Pain. I've even had to begin Therapy with a Social Worker Therapist, to be able to deal with the Pain, and 2 years ago, I took up Painting, for the same reason...Help!!! Anything out there, I haven't heard before? Any Treatment my Insurance will actually COVER, other than just keep Drugging me???

     
    Old 01-20-2006, 06:45 AM   #5
    soaplady
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    Re: Who Has Or Having This Done ???radio Frequency Ablation Of The Facets Surgery?

    Ironically, I'm leaving in two hours to get my second rfa. I got one in Nov on three levels on the left side of my lower back, but it didn't work. I got another test block done three weeks ago which really helped alot. So, today I try again.

    My test blocks hurt worse than the first rfa, but I had some very tender skin for about a week post procedure. I have pain patches, and those helped alot.

    I'll post back later, but I just want to say do not be afraid to try this. While anytime you get needles in your back you take a risk, it wasn't the horrible time I thought it would be. Hopefully, this time will be fine, too. They did say the second time may take longer, though.

    Now, I have a very painful neck problem, so it's just another thing to deal with.

    Take care.

     
    Old 01-24-2006, 04:29 PM   #6
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    Re: Who Has Or Having This Done ???radio Frequency Ablation Of The Facets Surgery?

    QUOTE=rabbitbunnies][COLOR=Magenta]Hi[/COLOR]
    [COLOR=Orange]I was wondering who also had this done and what the time from of recoving was for them ..?? I am schedule to have this surgery done this week ..I am kind of getting scared and just want everything go alright . If they had this done ..how long was it before the pain complety had gone away ? would appriecated the advice ..god bless
    [/COLOR][/QUOTE]

    Hi, I'm new here and need to ask a stupid question. Is radio frequency surgery the same thing as having a facet block?

     
    Old 01-25-2006, 08:15 AM   #7
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    Re: Who Has Or Having This Done ???radio Frequency Ablation Of The Facets Surgery?

    I just had this procedure done on Monday. I don't want to count my chickens but I think it is working. My pain is down to a 2-3 vs a 4-5!!! I think that is pretty good. We will see. I have a follow-up visit with my doctor in 4 weeks. I am going to physical therapy until then. If I continue to fell good, I think I am going to ask my doctor to step me back on my pain meds. I am currently taking a LA medicine but am thinking that I may not need this. Hopefully I can get off of pain meds all together!!!

     
    Old 01-25-2006, 11:32 PM   #8
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    Re: Who Has Or Having This Done ???radio Frequency Ablation Of The Facets Surgery?

    [QUOTE=Ellen55]QUOTE=rabbitbunnies][COLOR=Magenta]Hi[/COLOR]
    [COLOR=Orange]I was wondering who also had this done and what the time from of recoving was for them ..?? I am schedule to have this surgery done this week ..I am kind of getting scared and just want everything go alright . If they had this done ..how long was it before the pain complety had gone away ? would appriecated the advice ..god bless
    [/COLOR][/QUOTE]

    Hi, I'm new here and need to ask a stupid question. Is radio frequency surgery the same thing as having a facet block?[/QUOTE]

    That's okay, I've been ignored in better forums this this one. I'm gonna have a fecet block on Monday and was just wondering if it was the same thing you guys were talking about. Nevermind. There are other back forums.

     
    Old 01-26-2006, 04:28 PM   #9
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    Re: Who Has Or Having This Done ???radio Frequency Ablation Of The Facets Surgery?

    Hi Ellen,

    Please don't feel ignored. I don't think it's intentional, but sometimes I think the board doesn't have as much traffic as others. I belong to other forums (not related to backs), that get much quicker response. It could be, also, that so many of us here are in pain, and can't always be on the computer (my case lately).

    So....

    I'll try to answer your question. This is how it was explained to me by my pain mgmt doc. I've had three facet blocks at three levels, and two radiofrequencies at three levels. A facet block is where the doctor will inject pain medication into one or more levels of the medial branch nerve that runs along your spine. Think of a tree....the medial branch is the trunk, and it has branches (nerves) that connect to each facet joint, I believe there are two nerves feeding into each facet. I had mine done at the L-4 and L-5 levels of facet joints in my lower back, three all together. You can get a block done with steroids or without. The blocks I had were used as a diagnostic tool in determining where the pain was coming from. If I had significant relief of pain to the areas targeted, then I was a candidate to get the rfa procedure done at those three levels. You must get the preliminary blocks in order to qualify for the rfa.

    You can get the blocks with steroids which is then used for therapeutic and/or diagnostic purposes. The steroids reduce inflammation and the pain med just gives temporary relief. Blocks done w/o steroids and only numbing meds are not long term, only for diagnostic purposes.

    So, relief depends on the individual. I got immediate relief with just the pain med which lasted several hours. I am not allowed to have steroid shots b/c they messed up my adrenal function, so I don't know how long of relief I would get otherwise. My blocks were done solely for the purpose of determining how they would proceed with my rfa procedure.

    Now, for the rfa....I did not get any relief from the 1st attempt at three levels. Generally, it takes approx. 6-7 weeks to know if it worked. It takes that long for the brain to adjust to not having the pain signal from the treated area. I had the second one only 1 week ago, and I do have some measurable relief. Sometimes, it takes more than once b/c the doc may have missed the actual nerve that's causing the problem. They cannot see nerves on a flouroscopy, only the bony structures. They rely on testing the nerves by sending a shock (which you feel, and have to tell them) before actually burning the nerve. They also test to make sure they don't burn the main nerves that could damage functions such as walking, etc.

    It was a bit painful for me to get the blocks and rfa's. I'm not great with pain to start with...some people have no pain at all. Just depends on the person.

    I hope this helps.

     
    Old 01-27-2006, 07:39 AM   #10
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    Re: Who Has Or Having This Done ???radio Frequency Ablation Of The Facets Surgery?

    You know I woke up this morning in a lot of pain. I was very sad because I thought that it wasn't working but in reading the email posted by soaplady I understand now that it could be working still. That is a relief. I will hang on for another couple of weeks!!

     
    Old 01-27-2006, 11:59 AM   #11
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    Re: Who Has Or Having This Done ???radio Frequency Ablation Of The Facets Surgery?

    [QUOTE=Janna Clair][FONT=Arial]Me Too, I'm also Interested in Radio-Frequency Denervation![/FONT]

    I'm new to Bulletin Boards, so this may be Awkward, at first.
    Due to the new Medicare changes, on Jan. 1st., 2006 I lost a good number of my Doctors, as I was forced to join an HMO...a third-class one, at that. But I digress! I've had problems with my Back since approx. 1998, or so. At first, it interfered mostly with some of my Yoga Asanas (Postures); it was mild Back pain, and I could Stand up approx. 1/2 hr. at a time, and it interfered only moderately, with my Life, (I had already stopped Performing by then--I used to be a Musician--and thus only rarely carried heavy things. Back Physical Therapy, did very little, and even after the Treatment I could not return to Yoga. i slowly became less and less mobile, as the pain increased, and by 2000, I was given a Wheelchair, and a Shower Chair, plus had an M.R.I., and had an Epidural Steroid Shot. That was the worst thing I, (in my particular case) could've done. I went from 10 minutes standing up time, to 1 minute standing up,,,just like that!!! The same Doctor suggested I have my L-4 & L-5 Vertebrae Fused. I thought: This Doctor just made me lose 9 minutes standing up time, and now he want to fuse my Vertebrae??? Huh! Huh!!!! I went to get a Second Opinion, from a Neurosurgeon, who found problems with sensation on my lower Extremeties. He sent me to a Physiatrist, to have Velocity and Electrical Studies done. At first, the Dx was: Peripheral Neuropathy, but a month later, on second Tests, the P.N. was gone, and to my knowledge, never returned. Frustrated, and in terrible Pain, I went to a Neurologist, who tested my Brain, and found me to have Aphasias, and A.D.D., but found nothing on my Back. In Desperation, I went to Johns Hopkins to see an Orthopedic Specialist, who also took M.R.I.s, and sent me home, telling me they couldn't do anything for me. By then, I was already a Patient at a local Pain Clinic, and taking up to 40 Mg. Oxycontin/day. I didn't like the Hallucinatory Side Effects, and we searched for alternatives. I was given a TENS Unit, and w/in 9 Months, my Skin no longer responded to its stimulation. I was also doing mild Aquatic Exercises, (for Seniors, I'm 51). Eventually, after an insane Hospital Nurse refused to give me my Oxycontin when it was time to take it, while i was at the Hospital, for an unrelated thing, I went back to my Pain Dr., and asked for something else. He put me on the Duragesic Patch, which starting at 25µcg/72 Hrs. (3 days patches), quickly moved past 50 up to 100 µcg Patch, every 3 days, ( also wear a Orthopedic Brace. Not the flimsy stuff you see people not wearing at places like Home Depot, or Target, but the kind one wears under one's Clothes because it's big, and very, very Visible, (I don't like for people to treat me like an Invalid, although, thankfully, I DO have a Disabled License Plate, and for about 2 years, I was pretty much Wheelchair-bound. But then my husband accidentally broke the W/H Hook in my Chair-Lift, and so I just use my Walker, and sit a lot.
    At present, the Duragesic Patches and the Lidoderm Patches, along with the Brace, and Compounded Rx Ketoprofen Topical Cream, for Breakthrough Pain, (and a LOT of Dirty Looks from e-v-e-r-y- new Family Doctor I go to, when they have to keep me on the Duragesic Patch, and frequent allusions to the "Addictiveness of these Drugs...(to Junkies, perhaps, but the only thing I'm a Junkie of is NO P-A-I-N!!!)...AND SO ON...has made it increasingly Stressfull and Difficult to Continue in this Treatment I want something more Permanent, and non-Drug-oriented. Trouble is: my new 3rd-rate Doctor, at a 3rd-Rate Clinic, (for people like me...on Disability, and thus Poor...) wanted to send me to a third-rate Pain Clinic, I've been to before, who I happen to know are VERY Anti-Drug, and believe in Will-Power...Tomorrow!!! I'm Desperate! I need Help!!! I've just heard of this --Potentially no-drug-involved/more Permanent Treatment called "Radio-Frequency Denervation," and though hopeful, I'm stuck in this 3rd-rate Medicare+Extra Help (i.e. Medicaid) HMO, which'll probably require me to have all types of Proof of need, just like they've Stopped me cold on Neurontin, (for the Nerves on the Spine), this week, and are demanding all sorts of Do***entation as to Why I'm even taking it...One thing I can't understand. I'm a very well-versed person, when it comes to my HealthCare, and particularly my Back, (although I gave up on it, for a couple of years), IF this Treatment has been around, as the lit says, since the late 1970s. How Come I've never heard of it? And how come I had to hear about it in the local News? And not from my Doctors??? Can someone enlighten me about this?

    Is this the possiblility of a Normal Life, again? Being able to resume Yoga? Being able to wear clothing a size smaller, since I may not have to wear this Brace? And if the MRIs don't show the disk too far out off the Spine, then how come the Brace helps my Back Pain so much, that I was able to cut my Pain Meds in Half, upon putting it on 4 years ago?

    If M.R.I.s are so good ("It's better than Exploratory Surgery..." I'm told by a Specialist), then why doesn't it show the problem, and what pray tell me IS my problem? For awhile there, the symptoms I had made me believe I had ALS. Perhaps that would've been better, if it was true. ! No! I'm not Depressed! I'm just Fed-up with False Hopes. I'm fed up with this Pain. I've even had to begin Therapy with a Social Worker Therapist, to be able to deal with the Pain, and 2 years ago, I took up Painting, for the same reason...Help!!! Anything out there, I haven't heard before? Any Treatment my Insurance will actually COVER, other than just keep Drugging me??? [/QUOTE]
    I can relate- my insurance doesn't even bat an eye at my medications, which are fentanyl, percocet, valium, elavil and cymbalta... But trying to get them to cover anything else is like pulling teeth. I'm currently waiting on a decision on botox. I have also been considered for a rhizotomy, and since I'm NOT improving with the new therapy I've been doing- which was chiropractic. I wish I had never gone there, all they do is badmouth my doctors, but they haven't done a thing to help with my pain. I have a post called newbie please read about the battle I've gone through, with my neck, back and shoulders. I can relate to the frusteration. I, too have sought out help from a pain psychologist, though I won't see him until next Friday. I can completely sympathize with you, no one can actually articulate a diagnosis for me. All I want to do is scream sometimes, I get so frusterated. Hope you're doing ok, I would love some feedback from my post if you get a chance. Otherwise, take it easy, and go one day at a time. I've only been posting for a day or two but I can see already the care on this board. We can help each other out!

    Last edited by mrsaa; 01-27-2006 at 12:11 PM.

     
    Old 01-27-2006, 02:15 PM   #12
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    Re: Who Has Or Having This Done ???radio Frequency Ablation Of The Facets Surgery?

    [QUOTE=rabbitbunnies][COLOR=Magenta]Hi[/COLOR]
    [COLOR=Orange]I was wondering who also had this done and what the time from of recoving was for them ..?? I am schedule to have this surgery done this week ..I am kind of getting scared and just want everything go alright . If they had this done ..how long was it before the pain complety had gone away ? would appriecated the advice ..god bless[/COLOR][/QUOTE]


    How did this go?

     
    Old 01-28-2006, 08:04 PM   #13
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    Re: Who Has Or Having This Done ???radio Frequency Ablation Of The Facets Surgery?

    [QUOTE]You know I woke up this morning in a lot of pain. I was very sad because I thought that it wasn't working but in reading the email posted by soaplady I understand now that it could be working still. That is a relief. I will hang on for another couple of weeks!![/QUOTE]

    I hope things improve for you, and you won't need to do this a second time. My doc also told me approx. 60% have good success the first time, so that means 40% won't, and some out of the 40% will try again. I still have some post procedure pain (it's been 8 days), but it's much better than the first time around. It's possible to reduce your pain, maybe not completely eliminate it. They hope for at least 50% improvement. I think I have at least that amount compared to a couple of months ago.

    Unfortunately, I have developed a terrible neck pain issue. It's almost 4 weeks, and it's still not letting up (I posted about this on another thread). It's become such a complicated issue. There is no doubt for me that once you have any kind of back/spine/joint problem, more follow. I've been dealing with chronic back pain since Oct. 2004 after a fall on my lower left side (SI joint). I feel like I finally got somewhere with my back, now I'm starting all over again.

    I just found out my adrenal/dhea test came back with no improvement after 6 months, so now I know steroid shots to my neck is out of the question. I'm now on medication for dizziness, bad equilibrium that started slowly with the neck pain, and got progressively worse since the rfa last Friday. Haven't got the neck x-ray back yet (hopefully on Monday). I honestly do not expect them to show anything out of the ordinary. An MRI would be much better, if I can even get approval for one.

    Complicated....are the adrenals finally starting to go downhill causing the dizziness, could it be the neck, or did the wrong nerve get nicked during the rfa?? I can relate to the post regarding the insurance problems.....mine has made my life miserable fighting for tests I need.

    I hope to get more answers this week. My endocrinologist will be back in town, and perhaps out of the three doctors I see....something will get accomplished!

    Last edited by soaplady; 01-28-2006 at 08:06 PM.

     
    Old 01-31-2006, 01:36 PM   #14
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    Re: Who Has Or Having This Done ???radio Frequency Ablation Of The Facets Surgery?

    [QUOTE=soaplady]Hi Ellen,

    Please don't feel ignored. I don't think it's intentional,... It could be, also, that so many of us here are in pain, and can't always be on the computer (my case lately).
    [/QUOTE]
    Dear Soaplady,

    I agree with you.

    I made my first Entry over 10 days ago, and only now did I get back.

    I just got back from discussing the (Is it "Radio-Frequency Denervation," or Hi-Frequency Denervation?". I'll call it "RFD" fith my PCP, and she told me that it's a very good Procedure, which gave me some Hope. Now, i have to wait for the HMO Rigamarole of Proving I need to go see my Pain Specialist (I've been his Patient for 6 years!!!), and, though he isn't in my HMO, my Special Needs Unit Caseworker, (whom I call my "Miracle Boy..."), has arranged for me to be covered for the Visit. Now it is just sitting and waiting to hear from their Office, to know when the appointment will take place.

    I'm Hopeful! I have to be!!! I've tried everything else!!!

    There's a WARNING I wish to state, regarding Sterioid Injections, and Steroids in General:

    People who suffer from either Severe "Anxiety Disorder," and/or "Manic Depression" must NOT allow the use of Steroids on themselves with abandon, by the Doctors, or whoever.

    Steroids will trigger a Major Episode of both, and/or Severe Anxiety Attacks, lasting days on end, and/or severe Mania, (which when uncontrolled turns into Psychotic Breaks, (similar to Schizophrenia).

    If someone who reads this DOES have Manic Depression (also known as "Bipolar Disorder"), use Steroids with Extreme Care, and if you choose to do so, contact your Psychiatrist, so s/he may adjust your Anti-Mania Medication, in order to counteract the inevitable effects of the Steroids.

    The same goes for Anxiety Attacks. I suffer from Anxiety Disorder and PTSD, (I realize this is not the Forum for these Disorders, but anyone contemplating using Steroids, for Inflammation, or Pain or even as Testing, prior to the actual RFD, must be warned about this).

    Additionally, the Steroids don't have to be in high Doses, such as from an IV. In 2004, when I had Steroid Injections (7 of them) on my hands, for a Dermatological Procedure, at Johns Hopkins Hospital, I went into a severe Anxiety Attack, which lasted well over 3 full days, leading me to the local E.R., (where they BTW, totally Ignored my Symptoms and made sit there for 7 hours without Treatment. Eventually, and disgusted with the whole thing, I checked myself out, w/o Treatment, came home and took an extra Dose of my Anti-Anxiety Medication, (Xanax), and with the Aid of very Quiet, Instrumental Music, went into a Meditative State, to allow my Inner Self to Heal me. I emerged from that State hours later, the Anxiety gone. Thank you local E.R....NOT!!!

    I saw more than a few of our HealthBoards Members mentioning Steroids for Treatment. This is why I felt compelled to issue this Warningl

    (IBeing aware that some of you will wonder, what kind of Expertise I may havee or not, on this matter, though NOT a Doctor, I was a considered an Expert in these matters, while living in Houston, Texas, and taught Sensitivity Training to Psychiatrists and Psychiatric Nurses at the County Psych. Hospital, and the Psych Ward, at the Houston V.A. Hospital. Plus, I live with it, myself. That makes me an Expert...That makes all of you Experts on your Health and Pain Issues, as well).

    This is just a Warning! Whether you heed it, or not, it is up to you. But, by all means, check with your Doctors!

    Back to my Back. I'm looking forward to the possibility of returning to more Activity, less pain....We'll see!!!

    Better let you all get back to the Board.

    Janna

    Last edited by Janna Clair; 01-31-2006 at 01:57 PM. Reason: Misspelled Word. Grammar

     
    Old 01-31-2006, 06:31 PM   #15
    soaplady
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    Re: Who Has Or Having This Done ???radio Frequency Ablation Of The Facets Surgery?

    Janna, thank you for replying, and for the information regarding the side effects of steroid use!

    Since having four steroid injections, last one was 6 months ago...I am still dealing with the after effects. Ironically, I had my first panic attack not long ago, and other weird things. First, I thought I was thrown into menopause during steroid treatment, and I had all kinds of strange symptoms. I had surgery in April (not related to my back), and I thought maybe it was something having to do with the surgery that was causing some issues, but it wasn't. My facial hair started growing profusely, and after some initial hormone testing, ended up with an adrenal specialist. They have proven the steroids have shut down some of my adrenal function, and they aren't producing enough dhea-s anymore. I'm also on long term medication for the hair issue, which has worked great. I also had alot of water retention (like 5 pound gain in a couple of days), and my feet would swell even at night laying in bed. My dhea test came back unreadable again, so now I have to get an adrenal stimulation test in a week or so to see what's going on.

    I've had other joint pains, my neck is always in spasms. The bone xray came back perfectly fine, but I've had no other tests yet. I've had dizzy spells, actually passed out twice in the last two weeks, yet my primary care doc blows me off with dizzy pills and says I'm fine. It could be several things, and I'm not done with this yet. I also noticed some hearing loss in one ear during the treatment, and have fluid buildup, yet the doc won't order any tests to see if my ears are the problem.

    So....taking matters back into my own hands...I have an app't with an ENT, and can't get in for three weeks, but am on a cancellation waiting list. This doc is excellent, he's treated my own children..now it's my turn. I made a phone call to hopefully get in another primary care practice (my old doc...only changed b/c dh wanted to go closer to home, and she wasn't too close). No problems with her...she was excellent, and better than this guy. If she can't, then I'll find someone else. I don't need referrals with my insurance, and I can get this done on my own. My chiro has done all he can, and he's been very patient and very nice. He even wrote off my bill where the insurance wouldn't pay for my PT.

    Re the rfa....I had to get a predetermination from the insurance as to the medical necessity of this procedure. Some self insured plans (like my dh's), are very vague when it comes to certain things. They want total control over what we do. Not only did I have to get permission, I also had to go out of network b/c only one hospital is equipped for this. So, I got them to include it in network, and the permission to get it done. I cannot do steroids anymore, so that's why the rfa. It was my last hope.

    Steroids did nothing for me, except cause problems. My second rfa seems to be working...I have about 60% pain reduction, and I had nothing prior to this. I don't have the constant stabbing pain from movement like before. In fact, I even forget I have back pain sometimes!! And, it's only been less than two weeks, it can take 6-7 weeks for the full effect. I hope it gets even better with time! Thank goodness for this treatment.

    Janna, I totally understand the manic depressive issue. My adult son has had it since grade school, and I'm very familiar with the mental health arena as a former support group leader for parents, and dealing with the mental health professionals. I don't have bp, but some anxiety issues that started during the worst of my son's illness. It was very, very hard. He's doing well now...thanks to lithium (sorry to go OT here).

    Thanks again for posting this about the steroids. I think it helps to know all possible repurcussions from any treatment, although some people will do ok with it. It's just good to know what you could be getting into based on your health history.

    Please post back and let us know how this works out for you!! I have my fingers crossed the rfa will give you much needed relief.

     
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