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    Old 02-17-2009, 12:45 AM   #1
    damara72's Avatar
    Join Date: Jan 2009
    Location: GUILDFORD, SURREY, U
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    damara72 HB User
    Question Radio Frequency Denervation

    I'm getting quite nervous before my next pain treatment operation on Friday, so I was wondering if anyone else has had this treatment before & can tell me what to expect. I've read the leaflets but I'd rather hear from someone who has experienced it themselves!

    I am having radio frequency denervation to a nerve in my neck that was damaged by a slipped disc at C5-C6 which went undiagnosed for 4 years. The disc was removed over 2 years ago, but the nerve damage was extensive & that is the pain I still suffer.

    I have had cervical facet joint injections of steroid & local anaesthetic but those only gave mild relief for a few days. Even botox injections into the trigger points didn't stop the muscle spasms for long.

    I know basically what is going to happen but in the previous procedures I've been under sedation and don't remember a thing. This time I have to be awake when they put the big needle in my spine & that freaks me out for a start!
    Then there's the 'burning' of the nerve to contend with, don't know what that will be like.

    And how on earth will I stay perfectly still when they are doing this procedure for up to an hour and a half? I can't even have my usual morning meds, which means I be in tramadol & codeine withdrawral too.

    Please help / advise!!

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    Old 02-17-2009, 07:29 AM   #2
    Join Date: Feb 2009
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    Re: Radio Frequency Denervation

    you should be fine. the needle in back is not that bad just focus on your breathing. and you wont go into withdrawal from a couple of hours of no med. thats in your head. specially from tramadol, thats like barely narcotic. i hope you get relief from procedure. did you have to have that mapped out. what was that like. i have to do a similar thing.

    Old 02-18-2009, 08:03 AM   #3
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    Re: Radio Frequency Denervation

    damara72.......Hi, my name is Lyn and I live in Michigan. I am not going into my story, it is on the boards under several things. In the search bar you can see my story by typing in "Suboxone Withdrawl", or "Insomnia" or Chronic Pain.

    I had a failed Cervical Fusion and Discectomy with Titanium Pins and Plates and Donor Bones on C5/6 6/7 in 2003. The second donor bone did not fuse or it disintegrated. When I woke up after the surgery, I still had the same horrible pain. I have Chronic Neck, shoulder and head pain and chronic headaches that never go away. They now tell me I have Fibromyalgia and Myofascial Pain and oh yes Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. They don't know if the pain is coming from my shoulders and shooting up the back of my head. They don't know where the headache is coming from either. Anyway I am drug free now from my opiates after checking myself into a clinic and was put on suboxone and had to go through terrible withdrawls from the suboxone (another long story).

    Well.....I have been going through the same exact thing as you, all of the injections across my shoulders, different medications injected, steroids, botox, etc. etc. and as you said, it worked for a while and then all of the pain was back.

    I have had the "burning of my nerves" done in 2002 and it lasted for about 6 months on me and then the nerves grow back and then if it relieved your pain then you get it done again, I guess for the rest of our lives.

    At my pain clinic they only do one side at a time and they have to do 2 sets of "test shots" which has to be 2 appointments. It all takes so much time but I guess they want to test out to see if you got relief before the final "burning" is done. So.....I had the 2 sets of test shots done. The first one I wasn't fully convinced that he got the right areas, maybe a bit. The freezing comes out in the test shots after about an hour and it doesn't give you much time to move around and figure out if it helped. So....for the second set I decided to talk to the doctor beforehand and showed him on my neck several really sore spots that I thought he might be able to numb better or even more. I think he tried too hard as he went a bit further over and numbed the side of my face and my whole ear!!!! It felt horrible but I knew they were only test shots. He knew he over compensated and said in all the years of being a pain doc that is the first time this ever happened. He said that my head shouldn't have been on a pillow!!!! He wasn't worried as he said that when he went in when he was "burning the nerves" he was going to do it under "radio frequency" or "flouroscopy" and he was going to be able to pin point exactly where he was going in. He burned the nerves at C3,4,5 "2 days ago". The back of my neck and up a bit and the top of my shoulders and up from there are "numb", so it feels good and it has taken away the pain or the ache that I had there. My left side (which wasn't done) has even compensated a bit as when I press down on my shoulders and up a bit, they don't feel bad at all. I am very happy with the outcome headache that I have had since 2003 is still there full force. The Neurologist isn't sure where it is coming from and she sent me for an MRI of my brain which came back clear but it showed that I had mild mucosal thickening of the left maxillary sinus. My headache is in my sinus area!!!!! It is in the front of my eyes, at the top of my nose and in front and behind my ears. It feels sinus related and the results to me looked like that could be causing my headaches. My GP doc said no but I did make an appt. to see an ENT specialist. I had another test done a few months ago with another doc. It was a cat scan of my brain and it came out normal but said that I had a "small tumor in the left nasal cavity" but he said nothing to worry about. I am hoping it is sinus related and they gave me "nasonex" and I have taken it for 5 days and no relief. I also took Imitrex twice and no relief. If I didn't have this headache I would probably feel pretty good right now.

    I am sorry I am going on, please forgive me. I am not sure if this is the same procedure as you are having Damara but they laid me on my stomach in the procedure room and I had to put my hands under my hips to hold them down and then they put the needles into the nerves in my neck and burnt them under radio frequency and they can control exactly where the needles go. He had a plan before he started. They had drawn a few lines on my neck, kind of up and down. You can feel what they are doing and it hurts but you can get through it. It isn't anything that you can't take. They put me under anethesia quite deep but you are still awake. They ask you several times if you are OK and you are not supposed to move. I think the whole procedure took about 20 to 25 minutes, maybe even less. I came out and stayed in recovery for about 1/2 and had a drink and cookies because you are not allowed to eat or drink for quite a while before and then the doc came in and asked some questions about how I felt and then they delivered me in a wheel chair out to the door my husband.

    I am thinking about you and I hope this helped. If it is not the same procedure it is probably pretty close. Can you explain to me what they told you they were going to do.
    Again I am sorry this post is so long.

    Take care

    Old 02-18-2009, 08:07 AM   #4
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    Join Date: Aug 2008
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    Re: Radio Frequency Denervation

    Damara 72.....Hi again, it is Lyn. I just read your post again.
    My instructions for my procedure was that you could take your pain pills in the morning so check out your instructions or talk to them. Also even after the test shots and burning of the nerves I only had the needle in my neck not in my spine so maybe you are having a different procedure. My was called basically
    BURNING OF THE NERVES BY RADIO FREQUENCY and mine were being done on C3,4,5 vertabraes in my cervical spine.

    Take care


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