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Lumbar Radio Frequency Neurotomy

Started by 1421892184@facebook on 06/14/2011 9:57am

I am going to be getting this procedure. I am a bit apprehensive as it involves cauterizing the facet nerve endings. Has anyone in the community had this procedure before? Do you know of anyone who has? What results were experienced. I am told it will give me good relief for close to two years.

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I have had this procedure twice. The first time I had relief for about 2 years (as you were told) and it has been about a year since my last procedure. Sometimes the actual procedure can be painful and in fact they told me that they stimulate the nerve at a low level to determine if the resulting pain is similar to the one that had been bothering me. This has been the case both times. If your physician is planning on doing this, you might ask if they will inject a little more anesthetic at that point so that you do not experience a lot of pain when they burn the nerves. Remember, this procedure is not a cure. You still need to keep up the physical therapy that you have almost certainly been doing and in fact you may be able to do it better without pain. Although I did get almost some immediate relief (perhaps because of the anesthetic) the full effect took some time to develop. In addition I had a little leg weakness immediately afterwards but I was reassured that this was just the effect of the anesthetic they injected and that it would go away in a day (it did).
Good luck. Facet joint pain is no joke. Unfortunately, a lot of us have more than ONE problem and
exactly what is causing the most pain is very difficult to determine with certainty.

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I finally had the procedure yesterday. Experiencing some slight soreness in the spots where the procedure was done. I had 4 separate locations. Aside from this soreness the back pain level is ZERO! I had great sleep last night and woke up and just rolled out of bed with no problem or discomfort. It was certainly the best I have felt in a long time and would encourage anyone seeking facet joint pain relief to pursue this option if the injections are not working as in my case.

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Jose, was the actual procedure painful? I am such a coward! I had spinal fusion of L4, L5 & S1 in 2005, and total hip replacement on the right side in 2007. I have had continuing problems and pain, although bone scans show everything looks good. I've been on pain meds for years: 75 mcg/hr Fentanyl patch plus 5 mg Oxycodone 6 times a day, Lodine (anti-inflammatory) 500 mg twice a day, and Robaxin (muscle relaxant) 750 mg 6 times a day. Even so, I have to wear my large, post-surgical back brace any time I have to do any bending. Now, my MRI shows a bulging disc and degenerative disc disease in L3 (right above the discs that were fused). I've discussed some options with my pain specialist. He is sending me back to my orthopedic surgeon to look at the possibility of radio Frequency zapping, or maybe a discectomy. I don't know whether my facets are involved. In case they suggest the zapping like you had, can you tell me what to expect? I'm so afraid to be conscious under such a procedure, and others have said they actually trigger the pain while you're under the fluoroscope, to ask you if they're in the right place. What can you tell me? Thanks!

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I had it done in my neck and experienced great relief for about 4 months. I started to experience some pain and noticed lack of strength in my right hand with increased numbness. That is when I decided to have the fusion. The fusion was successful but the stain of my job caused more problems when I returned. I am now at home until Aug.

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I am having this procedure on Tuesday next week. I too wanted to find out if anyone has had this procedure. I wanted some feedback to just to put some worries at rest.

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I had this done 12 days ago. It was kind of painful during the procedure. I was under conscious sedation, so once it quit hurting (from the nerves burning and the muscle spasming) I would go right back to feeling out of it. But once that wore off and the numbing wore off. I was in so much pain I could hardly take a breath. I had a 45 minute drive home and it was crazy to be sitting on this area for that long. My pain originated in my lower back, butt, leg and wrapped around my hip. But now my butt was on fire! I had to get home and eat so I could take pain med, which was just 800 mg of ibuprofen. What a joke. Didn't touch it. Luckily I had some tramadol from my original pain, not the procedure. Doctor didn't prescribe anything. The tramadol helped for about an hour.
Still today, almost the same level of pain. I can not go back to work. I have read that this pain could be permanent or slowly go away in 1 to 3 months with medication. I got this procedure so I not only could be relieved of my pain but to get off meds.
So that is my experience so far with radio neurotomy. I will call the doctor today and tell him my troubles (because he has not called to check on me) and hopefully get the medicine I have read about that might relieve this horrible burned feeling. I can't sit. :(

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I am scheduled for a RFN procedure shortly, I have had the injections (once) 4 months ago in four different locations in my lower back, not much pain and did notice an improvement but the pain has come back. My Dr. indicated the pain for The RFN was a little more than the injections but not that bad. So I figured ok but I just received a call from an outside Rehab Products Company and they indicated I should get the “TENS” units to help with the nerve pain that I will have after the procedure, he indicated it would last for several weeks before I reach the comfort zone and the TENS unit that sends frequency vibrations to the lower back area will help.

After reading the posts to this community, it appears that many other people have had the experience. I would like to know a little more before I make the decision.

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The first time I had it done. The pain didn't come back for a whole year. It works! Then each time you get it done it's less effective by a month or so. Try it!

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My mother had this done when she was 89 years old and it took her back pain away. She progressed to a wheel chair at age 91. She had much relief and did not need pain medications again. She did experience bladder and bowel issues and had to wear depends at age 90 to 94 when she passed away. May have been due to Alherimers more than the RFK really. She used a walker and went to the bathroom on hr own till she was 93.

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