SpineUniverse Community Advice
Get help and share your story with others who know what you're going through.
Please register or log in to join the discussions!

Experience with Radiofrequency neurotomy ( burning the nerves)

Started by Jacquelyn-Leigh on 03/17/2012 2:38pm

Somehow this got posted in a non spondy thread.. Re-post. I have severe spondylolthesis grade 3/4

Mayo clinic defines; it as a procedure to reduce back and neck pain. It uses heat generated by radio waves to damage specific nerves and temporarily interfere with their ability to transmit pain signals.

My question is if anyone here had this procedure done on their back? If so, did you experience relief? Also any real life information would be very helpful!

My pain doctor mentioned this procedure to me at my last visit. He told me that if my next set of injections doesn't provide relief for my leg pain (both legs 1 goes numb the other shoots pain) this may be an option if I am interested. The injections have been very helpful at relieving my leg pain and numbness, however my last set of injection provided no relief. I normally get 6 injections 3 on each side, my last procedure we only did 2. I am crossing my fingers that I just needed more injections.

My pain doctor knows I love to research everything and gave me some information. I however am looking for real life results and experiences. Thank you

Do you find this discussion helpful?

4 Responses


I had this procedure in my L5/S1 are on the left side about 2 months ago now (I have a bilaterally pars defect with slippage and moderate foraminal narrowing). The procedure itself was no big deal. My biggest issue with it was that I was awake! Anyways I had relief for about a month and then it all came back with a vengence to include the tingling, numbing, pain sensations that I did not have before the procedure (I'm sure that the procedure didn't cause this). I went back and saw my pain managment doc and he ordered a discography/discogram to determine what kind of surgery I need but that's off the topic. So as for the procedure I would say try it and see if you get some relief.


Hey there, i'm a newbie here, but I have been dealing with my back since a work injury in 1999.

To me the procedure was painless. I was partialy under for the procedure.
I have had the procedure done twice. First time relief like i,d not had in years. It lasted about 9 months
#2 has not worked. only releif was from the numbing agent used for the procedure.

I would try it again in a minute.
Hope this helps.


Neurosurgeon recomends Facet Rhizotomy for Hypertrophic Facet Disease L5-S1 causing horrible pain. When I first started researching the procedure it sounded like a nightmare and reading these posts I feel a bit better about it. And I get what the goal is, which sounds great. But one of my symptoms is if I'm doing something that causes alot of pain and continue even though I'm in pain, numbing in my legs develops. Once my legs are numb they become very weak and if I still push myself I'm prone to falling. So to me the pain is a warning sign that if I keep up whatever I'm doing I'm going to fall very soon.
My question is, if the Rhizotmy blocks the pain, is it going to help the numbing or do I now get no warning at all until I'm numb and then fall?


I had this proceedure on my lumbar spine and it was sheer torture! There was absollutely no relief, afterward. It seems like it is just a way to whack the insurance.
I shudder at the thought...