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



Pain Management Message Board

  • Radiofrequency ablation for back pain any input?

  • Post New Thread   Closed Thread
    Thread Tools Search this Thread
    Old 06-09-2009, 07:05 PM   #1
    floridaback
    Junior Member
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Apr 2009
    Posts: 11
    floridaback HB User
    Radiofrequency ablation for back pain any input?

    I have spondylolisthesis gr 2 L5, S1. I have written before so you can view my posts. I had a pain management shot last week with 30-40% relief and some stomach upset, but I have IBS too and severe gastritis, so I expected that. The doc was supposed to inject me again today but decided that due to my limited success I should a) go see my GI doc and b) next have anesthestics injected at 5 points on my right lower lumbar, then c) have radiofrequency ablation to deadened those nerves. I told him that I have been living with the IBS for so long it is no big deal and maybe I should see a shrink to deal with chronic pain. He also suggested I see an ortho surgeon for an assessment to determine what my needs are...i.e., pain management or surgery. I informed him that I am not having surgery.....after he asked me 3x to see an ortho surgeon. I self medicated myself today with a muscle relaxer and xanax to have the spinal injection and then he decided not to do it....another co-pay, more missed work and too tired to go back to work. Now, the radiofrequency ablation suggestion. I don't even want to see the GI doc cause I know they can't do anything for me....my symptoms are not that bad...another co-pay I am facing. I don't know what to do. I still have lower lumbar pain, although lessened, but chronic. I have always had lower lumbar chronic pain since my 20's and now I am 54. Am I heading down the wrong road with RFA? Don't want to kill my nerve endings and end up with other complications.......need some advice, thanks guys!

     
    Sponsors Lightbulb
       
    Old 06-10-2009, 01:17 PM   #2
    brianpain33
    Senior Veteran
    (male)
     
    Join Date: Aug 2007
    Location: COLUMBUS, OHIO
    Posts: 2,153
    brianpain33 HB Userbrianpain33 HB User
    Re: Radiofrequency ablation for back pain any input?

    I would say go for it and give the radio frequency ablation a try. I have heard about several people that had it done and had very good pain relief from it. I think it deadens the nerve for awhile and then the nerve heals and hopefully the pain does not start back up again. If it can help lessen your pain then I would try it and it would allow you to decrease your pain meds which is a plus also. let us know what you decide.

    brian

     
    Old 06-12-2009, 11:03 AM   #3
    floridaback
    Junior Member
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Apr 2009
    Posts: 11
    floridaback HB User
    Re: Radiofrequency ablation for back pain any input?

    After much research I have decided not to have this done but stick with lower lumbar injections. I read that RFA can result in several things that are not good: Neuritis, tumor on the nerve, loss of sensation, and it takes about 6-10 weeks to even start to feel better plus there is a chance you may need it again in 6 months. I also read an article published by the Mayo Clinic that they have only been doing this procedure on backs since 2007, it is used primarily for irregular heartbeats and also for cancer treatment. Unless I am screaming while walking, I do not want my nerves messed with...they are already a mess!

     
    Old 06-12-2009, 12:55 PM   #4
    SpineAZ
    Senior Veteran
    (female)
     
    SpineAZ's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Oct 2005
    Location: Wisconsin
    Posts: 5,082
    SpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB User
    Re: Radiofrequency ablation for back pain any input?

    Surgery may be a good option for you. I'd take surgery over long term pain management treatment as it can really help! Perhaps maybe consult with a surgeon to learn more about the options?
    __________________
    Rt thumb fusion '13. R&L thumb arthroplasty '12 ; RT TKR & Bilat CTS' 11. Fusions: L5-S1('87), L4-S1('93), C5-C7('06), L3-S1('10), C4-C5('13). C5-C7 foraminotomy '08

     
    Old 06-12-2009, 01:18 PM   #5
    lemonflavor
    Senior Member
    (male)
     
    Join Date: May 2009
    Posts: 210
    lemonflavor HB User
    Re: Radiofrequency ablation for back pain any input?

    I'm going to be having this done and have done some research too. I read on one site that the problems with Neuritis may be less likely with lower lumbar injections than higher up. That was only one source though (sorry I can't remember where it was). I also read a figure of 2-3 weeks to start feeling better. Your source may be better though and I'd probably go with the conservative figure.

    The cortisone never does anything for me so I'm willing to take the risk to have the ablation done. All I really want is to be able to sit in a recliner without pain.

     
    Old 06-24-2009, 10:21 PM   #6
    bigsandy
    Newbie
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Jun 2009
    Posts: 6
    bigsandy HB User
    Re: Radiofrequency ablation for back pain any input?

    Hi new to the bb but I was looking for information about the same thing but in a different area. My neck. C7-T1 My Dr. that did the facet joint injection doesn't want to do it. He said there is way to much going on in your neck and didn't give me the details. Plus he said the nerves will grow back. I had my second facet joint injection today. The first one lasted about three months. Today the procedure was more painful than the first. I don't know if I will do them any more. Depends on how bad the pain in my shoulder gets. Sure wish there was a more long lasting solution.

     
    Old 07-06-2009, 07:52 AM   #7
    Medic8ed
    Junior Member
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Dec 2003
    Location: Arizona
    Posts: 12
    Medic8ed HB User
    Re: Radiofrequency ablation for back pain any input?

    My RFA was absolutely brutal. I also have spondylolisthesis in my lumbar region, don't know what grade. Tried physical therapy, trigger point injections, facet joint injections, epidural, now the RFA and I am in more pain than I was before. I don't blame you for not wanting to go through that.

     
    Old 07-07-2009, 07:56 AM   #8
    AlanVA
    Member
    (male)
     
    Join Date: Aug 2007
    Location: USA
    Posts: 50
    AlanVA HB User
    Re: Radiofrequency ablation for back pain any input?

    I've had good results with the first round of RFA around last summer and now I am in the process of having the procedure repeated (lumbar area). I'd say the RFA took the pain from 7-9 down to a series of mostly good days with some 4-5 pain level days on the bad days.

    Around the 8 month mark the pain started to return along with some of the other problems with numbness in my feet and legs and pain ripping up from my legs into my back while standing so I made an appointment to go back and see the Doc who agreed that I responded well with the amount of pain relief I got from the first procedure so we are in the process of doing it again. She only does one side of my back per visit and when I decided to have the procedure repeated, it was a month or so wait to see her and then another month (will be next week) to go get the other side burned out and I'll hope for another 8-12 months of pain reduction.

    The RFA never got rid of 100% of the pain but it certainly helped things. The first procedures last year hurt a fair amount to have done but the treatment on my right side last month was not nearly as bad as the first time - still wasn't fun but it was easier to tolerate and the recovery time and pain didn't seem as bad as the first time. Maybe there was still some benefits from the first procedure and some of the nerves were still not fully regenerated before the second procedure? Or, since I knew what to expect from it this time, my imagination didn't make it seem worse than it was.

    For me, single biggest benefit after the RFA was able to stand/walk without horrible pain in my legs and back. There was still some pain off an on and like I said gooo days and bad days but after the RFA I could actually resume a somewhat normal lifestyle and be able to do simple things like walk through a store without having to find somewhere to sit down after five minutes because the pain had become too intense to continue and this was with taking pain meds on a regular schedule as well.

    So for me, the RFA was/is definately worth it and aside from a couple of days of increased soreness immediately after the procedure, there were no long term problems or issues that I'm aware of as a result.

    Good luck - just wanted to give you a positive RFA story.

    a.

     
    Old 07-07-2009, 06:20 PM   #9
    CaliGirl
    Senior Member
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Sep 2007
    Location: Maryland
    Posts: 230
    CaliGirl HB UserCaliGirl HB UserCaliGirl HB UserCaliGirl HB UserCaliGirl HB User
    Re: Radiofrequency ablation for back pain any input?

    I have had this done 3 times, 2 to the right SI joint, and once two months ago to L3,L4 & L5/S1. I have had good results with this procedure and it has enabled me to both lower my dose of pain meds and get my life back. I am now walking two miles per night! The only complication I have had is some muscle spasms around the site of needle insertion which have responded well to a muscle relaxant. Overall, it has been better for me than the alternative. Injections that work for one month are just so not worth it for me. Also, if they inject cortisone at the time of the procedure into the nerves being ablated, this will eliminate a lot of the post-procedure discomfort. My experience only.

     
    Old 07-08-2009, 11:49 AM   #10
    ThreeBadDiscs
    Junior Member
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Nov 2008
    Location: Washington, DC
    Posts: 38
    ThreeBadDiscs HB User
    Re: Radiofrequency ablation for back pain any input?

    Could those of you that have had the procedure done explain a little bit what it's like? Were you sedated? I've had an IDET and Transdiscal Biacuplasty, and I assume it's easier than those, but I still like to know what to expect. This is a potential treatment doc and I are discussing doing in the future. Thanks, and take care!

     
    Old 07-09-2009, 06:16 PM   #11
    CaliGirl
    Senior Member
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Sep 2007
    Location: Maryland
    Posts: 230
    CaliGirl HB UserCaliGirl HB UserCaliGirl HB UserCaliGirl HB UserCaliGirl HB User
    Re: Radiofrequency ablation for back pain any input?

    ThreeBadDiscs, I was both sedated and also given IV pain meds after each nerve was ablated and then injections of cortisone at the end of the procedure. But, and this is a big but, I have heard of a number of doctors who do it with no sedation, no pain meds, just a series of locals (which of course I had also). So, I would ask up front about what you will have and also what you want. The length of the procedure depends on how much they are doing. Mine were each 45-60 minutes I would say. They aslo tend to not do both right and left sides at the same time if you have bilateral pain. You have one done first, then if all goes well, the other will be done in 4-6 weeks. Hope this is helpful. Lisa

     
    Old 07-13-2009, 09:47 AM   #12
    Certifried
    Newbie
    (male)
     
    Join Date: Jul 2009
    Location: Maryland, USA
    Posts: 3
    Certifried HB User
    Re: Radiofrequency ablation for back pain any input?

    I had a RFA done last October, and am getting ready to go back in for my second. I have arthritis in my L4/L5 and had pain starting to radiate down my right leg. I went to one Dr. that did the steroid injections (facet block) and I only achieved about 10% relief. That Dr. basically said that was as good as it gets and pretty much dismissed me.

    I found a really good Dr. and he suggested RFA. After some diagnostic injections provided major pain relief, I had the procedure done. Yes, it was a bit brutal. My Dr. didn't give me any IV pain meds, just some injections to numb the site where the larger needle was injected. Once the nerves were located, he did inject a local to the nerves themselves before the RFA. It wasn't, however, anymore painful than the facet block with steroids. My arthritis just puts so much pressure on the nerve, injecting something in to that already compressed space puts more pressure on the nerve. He did give me some Valium to calm my nerves, which helped.

    I got about 8 months of 80% pain relief. I lost 20 pounds and 6 inches off my waist. The pain isn't as bad as last October so I'm getting the RFA done now before it gets to that point.

    I think finding a good Dr. that you trust is important. Despite not giving me more pain meds during the procedure , my Dr. is awesome. There are also very few side effects which actually occur, they still have to list the possibilities on those pages you read, but some further reading shows how seldom they occur. Yes, I am a little nervous about having it done again because it was painful but I'm going for it before the pain gets back to 100% of what it was. The "bad" side was much more painful, the side that didn't have as much pain wasn't bad at all. So I figure if I go back before it worsens then it won't be so bad.

    I say get it done, you'll have at least 6 months of pain reduction. Your mileage may vary, but I bet you'll have about 8 months of 80% pain relief.

     
    Old 07-13-2009, 05:26 PM   #13
    SpineAZ
    Senior Veteran
    (female)
     
    SpineAZ's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Oct 2005
    Location: Wisconsin
    Posts: 5,082
    SpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB UserSpineAZ HB User
    Re: Radiofrequency ablation for back pain any input?

    Certifried:

    Was the "recovery" longer than that for epidural injections? I though it may be a few days before I feel good - compared to ESI where i generally felt okay the next day (not necessarily better in my back at that point but no residual injection pain after 24 hours).
    __________________
    Rt thumb fusion '13. R&L thumb arthroplasty '12 ; RT TKR & Bilat CTS' 11. Fusions: L5-S1('87), L4-S1('93), C5-C7('06), L3-S1('10), C4-C5('13). C5-C7 foraminotomy '08

     
    Old 07-14-2009, 04:44 AM   #14
    Certifried
    Newbie
    (male)
     
    Join Date: Jul 2009
    Location: Maryland, USA
    Posts: 3
    Certifried HB User
    Re: Radiofrequency ablation for back pain any input?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpineAZ View Post
    Certifried:

    Was the "recovery" longer than that for epidural injections? I though it may be a few days before I feel good - compared to ESI where i generally felt okay the next day (not necessarily better in my back at that point but no residual injection pain after 24 hours).
    I was a little sore that evening, but I had been on Magnacet (brand name oxy + acetaminophen) from April until my Rhizotomy in October so I was happy that night I was actually pain free the day after, which was odd. I had some pain for the next week or so, and then it diminished quickly after that. The pain was never what it had been before, and I achieved around 80% pain relief. I was put on Celebrex for the arthritis and that took out the other 20% of pain.

    I've read that the degree of success with the rhizotomy has a LOT to do with the Dr. and his skill with the needle.

     
    Old 07-14-2009, 09:02 AM   #15
    lemonflavor
    Senior Member
    (male)
     
    Join Date: May 2009
    Posts: 210
    lemonflavor HB User
    Re: Radiofrequency ablation for back pain any input?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Certifried View Post
    I was a little sore that evening, but I had been on Magnacet (brand name oxy + acetaminophen) from April until my Rhizotomy in October so I was happy that night I was actually pain free the day after, which was odd. I had some pain for the next week or so, and then it diminished quickly after that. The pain was never what it had been before, and I achieved around 80% pain relief. I was put on Celebrex for the arthritis and that took out the other 20% of pain.

    I've read that the degree of success with the rhizotomy has a LOT to do with the Dr. and his skill with the needle.
    When you had pain for the next week or so, was that more of the same nerve pain you had before from them aggravating the nerves or was that the sunburn type pain at the ablation site? If that makes any sense. Thanks.

    Last edited by lemonflavor; 07-14-2009 at 09:03 AM.

     
    Closed Thread

    Related Topics
    Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
    Radiofrequency Ablation, Barrett's Esophagus & Insurance paradiddle Acid Reflux / GERD 20 10-27-2008 10:05 PM
    Radiofrequency ablation questions brianpain33 Pain Management 6 03-15-2008 08:01 PM
    Questions About "Radiofrequency Ablation" ???? sandollar Back Problems 12 02-28-2008 01:20 AM
    Radiofrequency Ablation-Anyone done it? redwing41 Open to All Other Health Topics 1 05-09-2007 02:36 PM
    2 days before surgery -RADIOFREQUENCY ABLATIONof the lower back rabbitbunnies Back Problems 3 02-17-2006 04:25 PM
    Need Advice Re: Radiofrequency Ablation BrittleBones Pain Management 7 02-19-2005 08:13 PM
    Facet Radiofrequency Rhizotomy dramaqueen01 Pain Management 4 08-15-2004 10:40 AM
    radiofrequency for lumbar facet sclerosis? perianthal Back Problems 3 12-05-2003 05:09 AM




    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 11:28 PM.





    2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved.
    Do not copy or redistribute in any form!