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  • I'm confused what is the difference between facet rhizotomy & radio frequency abbla

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    Old 08-31-2007, 09:56 AM   #1
    hiii98
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    I'm confused what is the difference between facet rhizotomy & radio frequency abbla

    RFA or radio frequency ablation is what my facet injection specialist office said they perform. However after researching the internet i found that a procedure called a facet rhizotomy would be the next logical step in current facet nerve pain from a herniated disk. I have a herniated disk but so far i dont know how much the injection will help... i guess if it does help both of these procedures claim to "burn" the nerve. But the RFA procedure from what i understand is for patients with cancer or who are dying while the facet rhizotomy is made for spinal problem patients... or perhaps they are both the same procedure (which the nurse though). I'm very confused and wondering if either option will help me. I guess my doctor only performs the RFA and not the facet rhizotomy.. anyone had either?

     
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    Old 08-31-2007, 01:46 PM   #2
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    Re: I'm confused what is the difference between facet rhizotomy & radio frequency abb

    well??? isnt this a back forum?

     
    Old 08-31-2007, 03:06 PM   #3
    kera4
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    Re: I'm confused what is the difference between facet rhizotomy & radio frequency abb

    Hi! I have had the radio frequency ablation done 3 times (it lasts about 8 months for me) on my lumbar facet joints. I have heard my doctor call it both of those terms, "facet rhizotomy," and "radio frequency ablation." So, I believe they are the same procedure. It is where they burn the pain nerves that serve the facet joints. It has helped me a lot! Good luck, Kera4

     
    Old 09-01-2007, 02:20 AM   #4
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    Re: I'm confused what is the difference between facet rhizotomy & radio frequency abb

    Thanks for the reply! my doctor told me he usually only performs those on cancer patients then he laughingly told me...its dangerous and who cares since they usually die within 3 months anways... (yikes). To me it sounded like that procedure was reserved only for the absolute most severe cases... Is that true?

     
    Old 09-01-2007, 04:34 AM   #5
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    Re: I'm confused what is the difference between facet rhizotomy & radio frequency abb

    If my doctor said that to me, I would head for the hills. Just my personal non medical opinion.

     
    Old 09-01-2007, 06:50 AM   #6
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    Re: I'm confused what is the difference between facet rhizotomy & radio frequency abb

    It is the same thing. I had it and it was awful. But, it might work for you, why not try it? I have done a lot of things in the effort to control pain. Pain will make you keep trying, no matter how uncomfortable the procedure is!
    Hang in there,
    Melissa

     
    Old 09-01-2007, 09:11 AM   #7
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    Re: I'm confused what is the difference between facet rhizotomy & radio frequency abb

    damn so the procedure was awful? The injections are a piece of cake and I had a discogram and that was AWFUL. How is this on a comparable level to the regular injections?

     
    Old 09-01-2007, 12:24 PM   #8
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    Re: I'm confused what is the difference between facet rhizotomy & radio frequency abb

    For me, the procedure was not too bad. A bit more painful than the injections, but not too much. The RFA takes about 45 minutes (I had three levels done L3, L4, L5 on both sides). First, they give you some mild sedation (Versed or Fentenyl). Then they use the fluoroscope (active xray) to place the heat probe on one pain nerve. They test it and you will feel the muscle twitch-then the doctor heats the nerve for about 90 seconds. Then the next level the same, etc.

    The main thing is make sure your doctor uses a fluoroscope and has done many of these procedures. Also, your doctor should test your facet joint pain nerves with a lidocaine test first before going to the RFA. If this test relieves your pain for a few hours, you are a good candidate for RFA (or rhizotomy). Hope that helps! Kera4

     
    Old 09-02-2007, 07:23 AM   #9
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    Re: I'm confused what is the difference between facet rhizotomy & radio frequency abb

    I also had the radiofrequency...as Kera described, mine was done the same way.. I was not so fortunate...the pre-test injections worked wonderfully...deadened the pain!!! Wonderful... But, the radiofrequency didn't work as well for me...right after the RAF..I was in pretty bad pain for several weeks...the Drs. office kept saying...oh 10 days, then 2 weeks, then 30 days..then 6 weeks...and finally it did let up..but I was not a happy camper. I feel I got some relief..but not as much as they said I would...I think it is wearing off now...(May-Sept)... If it takes the pain away..wonderful..I'd do it in a heartbeat... But, I'd have to think about doing it again for me. I believe the test is the same for both names.

    Sage

     
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