Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

Notice
All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Radio Frequency (RF) Procedure

abenakiaabenaki Posts: 76
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:25 AM in Lower Back Pain
Anyone out there had and RF procedure done? I have lower back pain, bulging discs, degenerative disc disease and several vertabre injuries. I want to put off surgery for a bit since I have had neck fusion this summer as well as an ankle fusion. My doc recommends RF for my lower back. He said it should keep the pain at bay for a good 16 months which sounds like heaven to me. If you have had this done, what has been your experience with it?

Thanks. Gary
advertisement
1

Comments

  • I had it done in januiary of 2008,in my lower back,it took about one month,for the nerves to die,it lasted about 10 months....
  • i have just had the radiofrequency done 2 days ago, i have it done on my lower back, i used to have it on just the right side but this time i had to have it done on both sides.

    i wish i could say that it is not a painful procedure but i cant, it is quite painful and it took about 2 hours to do all 4 injections. when they get to the nerve they put some local anesthetic in it so when they burn it away, u cant feel a thing.

    i have had them done 3 times now (once a year) and it lasts between 4-6 months with me, but everyone is different. i would definatly give it a try, u will never know if u dont. it does take some time to recover because u ache from where u have been poked and prodded!!

    hope u make the decision thats right for u but u do get pain relief for the time that it lasts.

    hope this helps.

    nicky.
  • thanks for the responses thus far. It sounds like it is exactly what the doctor said with results lasting about as long as I figured. Glad it works because getting rid of some pain is better than not!
  • I had radio frequency diagnosis injection and found this to be of no help. Did they offer the diagnosis injection before going along with the procedure? You may want to look into that first.
  • All three were L2 to S1 and SI joints, and one of those three also included segments of my C and T spine.

    The first two lumbar rhizotomies only gave me relief for four to six weeks, but it was GOOD relief. The third rhizotomy, in October of last year, gave me about six months of relief with my neck and lumbar areas, but really stirred up my t-spine, and I'm still suffering with that.

    I would do another one in a heartbeat if I had no other options; some people have success and some don't. If you do a search at the top of the Spine Health page (NOT the Google slot) for rhizotomy or radiofrequency, you'll see a few other links that will give you some feedback.

    Good luck and keep us posted.

    Tracy
  • Ok I have a question on this..
    I have read all the information on this but it does not specify if you have to have had a fusion done before they will consider it. Does anyone know if so? We have been through Chiro, PT, PM, Surgerys (2) which have not helped, Injections ( 2 different types) which did not help neither. Any info on this would be helpful.

    And also, do any of you regret doing this procedure or would you recommend it to someone that has constant pain and gets no relief with anything. ( pain meds, procedures, surgery, PT, Chiro, MT) Thanks, Kelli
  • Kellih25 said:
    Ok I have a question on this..
    I have read all the information on this but it does not specify if you have to have had a fusion done before they will consider it. Does anyone know if so? We have been through Chiro, PT, PM, Surgerys (2) which have not helped, Injections ( 2 different types) which did not help neither. Any info on this would be helpful.

    And also, do any of you regret doing this procedure or would you recommend it to someone that has constant pain and gets no relief with anything. ( pain meds, procedures, surgery, PT, Chiro, MT) Thanks, Kelli
    You do not have to have a fusion done before you have it done,i had it done to avoid surgery,i did not regret having it done
  • Oh thank you for responding. I have posted my story under horrific back pain and no answers. Please help.

    How has it helped you physically? How was the relief of the pain and lenght of it?
  • Kellih25 said:
    Oh thank you for responding. I have posted my story under horrific back pain and no answers. Please help.

    How has it helped you physically? How was the relief of the pain and lenght of it?
    it lasted about a year,my disc is worse than it was a year ago...
  • So do you think that because you got the procedure done it made it worse? Or do you think it would have gotten there anyhow?
  • i dont think the procedure made it worse,i might add that nothing is still not quite pressing on a nerve so i do think that it did help me...
  • How often do you have to have it changed or checked? How long are you able to have this? And do they say you need to do the fusion?
  • Kellih25 said:
    How often do you have to have it changed or checked? How long are you able to have this? And do they say you need to do the fusion?
    my problem is muscle related so i wont have it done again...
  • I am very sorry to hear that. What exactly are the symtoms that you are having? I am not sure if it might be the same thing or not. I don't mean to pry into your business, just curious..
  • Kellih25 said:
    I am very sorry to hear that. What exactly are the symtoms that you are having? I am not sure if it might be the same thing or not. I don't mean to pry into your business, just curious..
    I have muscle spasms in my upper and lower back from ddd snd spinal stenosis,...
  • So you don't want another one done or they will not allow you to have another one done do to the spasms? Cause it is my spouse that is having the problems and he to is having and been having spasms. Not sure if this procedure would benifit him or not. Just getting all the info on it as I can. Thank you for your help with this.
  • Kellih25 said:
    So you don't want another one done or they will not allow you to have another one done do to the spasms? Cause it is my spouse that is having the problems and he to is having and been having spasms. Not sure if this procedure would benifit him or not. Just getting all the info on it as I can. Thank you for your help with this.
    If it is a nerve problem it will help,my nerve pain did go away,but it didnt help my muscles in my lower back
  • Are you not able to take mucsle relaxers or do they not help? I know that medications do not help him at all.. He has been on vicodin, perks, skalaxten, valium, xanex, gabapin, oxycodon, oxycotin, moraphine tabs, and many more and nothing helps the pain...
  • Are you not able to take mucsle relaxers or do they not help? I know that medications do not help him at all.. He has been on vicodin, perks, skalaxten, valium, xanex, gabapin, oxycodon, oxycotin, moraphine tabs, and many more and nothing helps the pain...
  • Had the RF done for my lower back 2 levels worked fine for 3 months level 1 on a pain scale somedays no pain. Now after being in a hospital bed for 15 days my back is bad bad and Dr. will not do another one says it should last at least 6 months. I feel like maybe my nerves grew faster than norm. LOL ok RF on neck and did nothing put sent me to ER for major pain and now stiff neck with still no relief.
  • So because they say it is supposed to work for at least 6 months that it is actually supposed to work for that amount of time on everyone? ( I don't think so ) Do these dr's think everyone is the same or what? We have a Dr that does not offer anything to solve the problem.. I am doing all the research to find an answer.. We pay these dr's to do nothing to help us.. Why?
  • Hi Kellie
    I had it done with one of the Docs that actually trains Docs in RF. They should not RF a fusion joint as it heats the metal there to an unsafe temp (docs wouldn't do mine in the fusion area)
    It doesn't last the same amount of time for everybody and you should have Diog. injections to check and see if it will work. I had it done in March on the left side and July on the right. The left side started hurting again a couple weeks ago, but I also have an incomplete spinal fusion that they found. Good luck!
  • Thanks for your reply. I know it does not work for everyone I am just trying to get all info on anything we can do other then another surgery... We have a couple of different things to bring up to the PM dr when we return and see what he thinks the best thing to do is... I hope your pain gets better as to all.. I feel for each and everyone of you that suffer with this... Kelli
  • Some people get NO relief, some people (like me or bigcat) get a few months and some get up to two years. It's like anything, Kelli; you can't predict what the outcome would be....I sure wish we could! /:)

    I am not a candidate for any surgery that will "fix" my problems, so this was worth trying. Everyone has a different opinion on how many you can have, too; my neurosurgeon actually said (and this I really doubt, sorry....) that any type of needle will NOT cause scar tissue.... I find that very difficult to believe when my SI joints are FULL of scar tissue from all the injections, etc., I've had, and sometimes when I go for my bloodwork they can't get a needle into my vein because of scar tissue.

    As I said, I've had three done so far, and was told I could have another one. I'm going the medication route right now because it has given me some relief for now.

    Hope that helps you and Gary with your questions!

    Tracy
  • Kelli thanks for sparking the discussion and Tracy thanks for the information. I am going in to have it done on Tuesday. Couldn't stand the pain any longer and medication has very little effect on me, even when I was up over 140 mg of oxycodone with 1500 mg of neurontin. My doc and I don't want to do surgery due to too many surgeries already this year and so I am trying to put this off...I will let you know how it goes....
  • abenaki- hope the RF works out and helps the pain. My PM dr now thinks I should get a rhizotomy done as well and thought it might help with the nerve pain. I am still not sure but will decide before I go back to see her...best wishes..jade
  • Everyone responds differently to treatment. I suggest your husband try every alternative before surgery. I too have nerve pain (spinal stenosis) in addition to the disc problem so the radiofrequency did not work for me. It helped my disc pain but not the nerve pain. Like I mentioned before, my doctor did a diagnosis injection which wore off after a couple of days before he did the actual procedure. Since I didn't have complete relief of pain I didn't end up having the procedure.

    I decided to have a fusion after months of appealing my insurance because they wouldn't pay for an artificial disc replacement and I regret it. I still have the nerve pain and back pain. I have a follow up with the surgeon on Friday to go over my CT scan results to see how the fusion and bone regrowth is doing.

    I wish you and your husband the best of luck and hope he finds something that works for him that doesn't include surgery. Your husband is very lucky to have such a caring wife who is willing to do research and find support groups to help him and you out. Back pain is the hardest thing to deal with and can be depressing and cause strain on the family. I wish I had a more supportive husband as he doesn't understand what I am going through, therefore, can't understand why I am not more active and why I don't do more around the house and more yard work. The kids get upset because I can't run around and play with them as I once did which is very upsetting to me. I feel like I am letting them down.
  • My dr did mention that in my case that the rhizotomy would be done in 2 steps. I guess to see if it works with a trial 1st. I sure wish I could get it all over in 1 step as I not exactly the calmest patient.. :SS ..jade
  • Did they say anything about give you anything to calm your nerves for the procedure? They had me take 2 zanax before the procedure and also the same for when I had the discogram. It is better to be have them do the diagnosis injection because it doesn't take as long and it doesn't hurt as much (from what I hear) as the real thing. It would be a shame to go through the whole process and find out that didn't offer you any releif to begin with. Good luck with everything. Hopefully they will give you some xanax or valium before the procedure.
  • Let us know how you make out. The pain I had immediately following the surgeries was the worst ever, but with me it eased off very shortly afterwards, except in my t-spine, which didn't get relief.

    I hope it's a success - I look forward to hearing how it went.

    Tracy
advertisement
This discussion has been closed.
Sign In or Register to comment.