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rhyzotomy

janiskijjaniski Posts: 679
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:24 AM in Chronic Pain
Has anyone had a rhyzotomy recently? I had several in 2001 when they actually burned the nerve endings. They were not successful. I understand that now it is done by "stunning" the nerves. It was a very painful procedure then and I am wondering if the new procedure is less painful. If anyone has had it please let me know what it is like!! Thank you.

Jani }:)

14 surgeries including laminectomy (L4/L5), 360 fusion L4/L5, fusion L1-L5, many cortisone injections and 2 (failed) rhyzotomys.
L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.
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Comments

  • I had one done in january of 2008,it wasnt painfull having it done,i was sedated ,it was painfull for about one month afterwards....
  • I had one done two weeks ago and the other side done 2 days ago. It wasn't bad. I had the option of conscious sedation, which I accepted the first time, but it made me feel really awful so this week I had it without and it wasn't really a big thing. A bit of discomfort but it really didn't last long. I had L3-S1 done on each side.
    I must add that I have faith in my pain doctor's ability and trust him to do a great job while causing as little discomfort as possible.
  • ...

    Has it worked for anyone ??
  • meandmyback said:
    ...

    Has it worked for anyone ??
    Yes it did work for my nerve pain.....
  • Thanks for the input. I am scheduled for L5/S1 Nov 10 (both sides). I have a good pain doc and he has done many cortison injections so hopefully he is as good at the rhyzotomy.
    L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.
  • I think the rhizotomy helped. However, I also have sacroiliac joint pain on both sides. That pain was and still is more severe. I am waiting for approval for SI joint neurolysis, my doc says he uses alcohol injections.
    So it is hard to judge at this point how my relieve I have obtained from the rhizotomy. All in all, it feels as if I have less pain.
  • All three were bilateral; the first two were L1 to S1 and my SI joints (as well as cortisone injections in the SIJ) - I only got about six weeks of good relief, but it was like heaven after the pain I'd been dealing with. The last one was a year ago, and I had segments of my C and T spine as well as L1 to S1 and SI joints. I had great relief with my C spine, my T spine went absolutely crazy and I still have major neurological issues there, but I got about six months of relief that time with my lumbar spine.

    My NS does it under a general anaesthetic. The pain upon waking went through the roof....I won't pretend it was easy, but once they could settle that down, I used ice packs and only needed a couple of anti-inflammatories to settle it down through that evening.

    I have no regrets about any of the surgeries, though I could certainly do without the T-spine pain, numbness and tingling!

    Good luck whatever direction you take.

    Tracy
  • had 4 rhizotomys and they have always worked well for me.
  • I wouldn't mind trying this rhizotomy. I wonder if it would help in my case L5-S1 herniated disc. I wonder why it hasn't been offered yet? Is it the pain management Dr. who does this. Thanks. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Yes it is the pain doc who does it. It is also referred to as a facet ablation.
    L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.
  • I am three weeks after my rhizotomy. Had it done on five levels on my thoracic. I still have pain and hope it goes away. I see that it took a month for someone, yikes! Hope it goes away this week. :''(
  • I had my rhizotomy done in October and am in worse pain now than before. I've been in to the PM doc and they've prescribed Tramadol and more epidurals, I go in next Friday. I didn't see the doc but his PA, she says the rhizotomy could have been successful in regards to the nerves being burned. The test injections were successful though so I'm not sure how successful it really was. On the other hand my sciatica is slowly worsening too and there could be something else going on. I hope everyone gets relief soon from theirs! :)
    Jay
  • hi Jay
    Saw your info on rhyz and am intigued to know more, I had a rhyzotomy 5 weeks ago and am completley worse pain wise than before.Like 100% worse! Was rearended by a cement truck in 2006, have trouble with severe neck pain and numbness in left arm hand and bottom of leg and foot. had facit injections which worked wekk once out of four times so thought this was my cure but if id known that id be worse id have never had it done, have you ever had any relief after your rhyz? Ann

  • hi Jay
    Saw your info on rhyz and am intigued to know more, I had a rhyzotomy 5 weeks ago and am completley worse pain wise than before.Like 100% worse! Was rearended by a cement truck in 2006, have trouble with severe neck pain and numbness in left arm hand and bottom of leg and foot. had facit injections which worked wekk once out of four times so thought this was my cure but if id known that id be worse id have never had it done, have you ever had any relief after your rhyz? Ann

  • annabell,
    I responded to your PM also, but no I did not get any relief from the rhyzotomy. We're pretty much moved past structural-spinal issues for me now, I'm in the process of diagnosing MS, also looking into RA.
    Jay
  • I had a 5 level RF about 3 weeks ago, My PM Dr. did this with no sedation at all, did it hurt-Yes
    I am fighting several problems in the area the RF was performed. I noticed a decrese in pain in my lower back, unfortunatly the pain in my groin and hip has increased. I cant say if the increased pain was a result of the RF.
  • I had one a few months ago that was very successful in removing one specific stabbing focus of pain (not my whole LBP). I think my PM is an injection/rhizotomy god. Removing that one part was a big part of being able to control the rest of my pain cycle. The other thing was that my doc injected a little steroid to calm down the area post-procedure, which I thing made the post-procedure recovery much more bearable. I have always had it done with twilight, it definitely hurts more than facet or SI injections which I had done without twilight. I had responded (albeit briefly) to facet injections, that is usually the criteria they use to decide who is a candidate for rhizotomy, I think my PM said 70% of patients that get relief from facet blocks get relief from rhizotomy. When I had it done before my fusion it did cause more pain for about 5 weeks, but with the addition of a little steroid at the last time it seems to have made all the difference in the post-procedure recovery - I would encourage anybody having this done to ask their doc to do it, even if you have to pay out of pocket (most insurance companies won't cover steroid injection since it is basically another facet injection with the procedure). Eventually the nerves grow back and the procedure needs to be repeated, but its not that big a deal. Hope that helps.
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