It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....

Pain Management Message Board

Radio Frequency Ablation for Facet Pain

Post New Thread   Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 06-22-2007, 01:59 AM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Durham, NC, USA
Posts: 1
lunchladyk HB User
Talking Radio Frequency Ablation for Facet Pain

Hi I am new to this group but need your help. how is Radio Frequency Ablation done and does it Hurt. Does it require sedation of any kind. I have had umpteen shots and nerve blocks and back surgery so now this. I just want to know more about it.

Sponsors Lightbulb
Old 06-26-2007, 03:32 PM   #2
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 12
calibabe HB User
Re: Radio Frequency Ablation for Facet Pain

Originally Posted by lunchladyk View Post
Hi I am new to this group but need your help. how is Radio Frequency Ablation done and does it Hurt. Does it require sedation of any kind. I have had umpteen shots and nerve blocks and back surgery so now this. I just want to know more about it.

I have a friend who had RFA done to her neck (C3-54) and she still has pain as bad as before.

I go to a pain management doctor for my lower back. I have DDD (degenerative disc disease) L-4-L5, and L5-S1, chronic lumbosacral muscololigamentous strain, lumbar facet joint syndrome, depressive disorder with anxiety reaction, myofascial pain syndrome, DDD at the T9-T12 region, mild scoliosis, 2-3MM disc protrusion. I have had fluroscopy done on the lumbar region in 2003. That did not work. I have been going to a PM since that time that is really good. He is very responsive to my pain, is really open to my asking questions and to what I think I may need. If I need to go up on the meds he will do so within reason and if I have to go down he evens does that. If I have a problem with meds (like I did with Kadian-it made me feel like I would jump out of my skin) he gets me in right away.

The past 6 months or so have really been difficult for me. The pain has been really bad (about an 8-9 on a 10 scale) most of the time and I was on 8mg of Dilaudid 4 times per day with Norco 10/325 for breakthrough and Soma 350mg for spasms. Like I said the Kadian make me feel like I was jumping out of my skin, so he placed me on Avinza 60mg. That didn't work that well so he went up on the Avinza to 90mg qd (1 per day). That along with the Norco is working alright at this point, but I still have pain throughout the day, so another adjustment is in order somewhere down the line. I try to give myself about 60 days to adjust to meds unless they just outright don't work.

My PM did ask me about the RFA. He had told me long ago that it was really a shot in the dark type of procedure. Basically they are attempting to hit a nerve (which you can't see) with this wire that will burn it. Now maybe sometimes they do hit the nerve and it does burn, which is a good thing. However at some point down the road the nerve will regenerate and you will have to go through this all over again. I have been doing this too long to go through a procedure and then have to go through it all over again. My friend's neck area on the outside (her skin) is numb to the touch, but the pain she still gets from her neck down into her arms is with her everday. So for her it did not work. She also talked with several of the patients in the office she goes to and out of the 8 in the waiting room, 1 had success and the others had similar symptoms as she did, with the RFA not working at all.

Do you homework and if you feel that it is a good procedure for you based on the symptoms that you are having, then by all means do what you feel you need to do. Just know that in PM and with any type of neck or back problems there are no "quick fixes", even though we wish there was.

Oh how I wish there was.

Old 06-28-2007, 08:52 PM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 116
dub1 HB User
Re: Radio Frequency Ablation for Facet Pain

I have had several RF's done and if you have had a good reaction from facet nerve blocks then there is a good chance you will also have a good result from an RF. They usually try the nerve block first to see what your body's reaction will be. It does hurt a little more than a standard injection. I was always sedated for the procedure, i think the worst part is when they have to actually burn the nerve, it only lasts 10-30 seconds i believe but you can feel it. The whole procedure is to try and replicate the positive nerve block results for a longer period of time. I think it lasts like 3-6 months. If you are still in pain daily, it is probably worth a shot. That was my reasoning for trying it. Good luck.
collapsed L5/S1
both pars broken off at L5
Nerve damage R/L
L5-S1 fusion w/hardware
L-4 herniated
Dorsal column spinal stimulator
Bi-Polar,Gen. Anxiety disorder

Closed Thread

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
Radio Frequency Ablation of Facet Joints Terry in AL Back Problems 5 02-28-2010 09:04 PM
Who Has Or Having This Done ???radio Frequency Ablation Of The Facets Surgery? rabbitbunnies Back Problems 23 07-28-2009 01:45 PM
Radio frequency ablation and meds Michael8466 Back Problems 11 01-18-2008 10:15 AM
I'm confused what is the difference between facet rhizotomy & radio frequency abbla hiii98 Back Problems 8 09-02-2007 07:23 AM
Radio Frequency Ablation lwclaus Pain Management 1 11-29-2006 12:29 PM
radio frequency ablation v8crazy Back Problems 1 07-17-2006 03:30 PM
Lumbar Facet Blocks/ Radio Frequency Ablation Of The Facets rabbitbunnies Back Problems 4 12-20-2005 02:58 PM
Radio Frequency Cardiac Ablation and Electrophysiology Study chazaf2004 Heart Disorders 3 02-12-2004 05:24 AM
facet joint injections/Radio frequency ablation dmg Back Problems 6 12-29-2002 02:26 PM

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Sign Up Today!

Ask our community of thousands of members your health questions, and learn from others experiences. Join the conversation!

I want my free account

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:14 AM.

Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.comô
© 1998-2018 HealthBoards.comô All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!