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Introduction and Question about radiofrequency neurotomy

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,900
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:26 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hi everyone

I have read here on and off for the last two years, but now that I am scheduled for radiofrequency neurotomy, I am just panicked enough to post and beg for feedback. My back problems started about 8 years ago after my son was born. Every few months I'd get so "crooked" that I'd be bedridden for a couple days to a week with each occurance. For several years, I went to the chiropracter for adjustments and the doctor for muscle relaxers and pain meds. Then in 06, I sneezed and blew out two of my discs completely. I had steriod injections and physical therapy and three months later felt better. Then in Feb 07, my back pain became chronic with no injury or significant event. I just started to have pain that radiated down my right leg. Two years later at the age of 33, I've had no less than 10 steriod injections, almost a full year of physical therapy, traction, and pain meds. I've tried it all.

My current doctor says I am not a candidate for surgery since I have problems at three levels. My disc problems are at the lowest 3 levels (L3-L5). The discs are degenerative, herniated, and leaking fluid. For well over a year, my doctor said no surgery. Now she says I need to try more invasive procedures, starting with radiofrequency at all three levels on both sides. If that doesn't work, she wants to me to have a discogram and possibly surgery (even though she said I couldn't have surgery over and over. Yes, I have problems with her.)

As for meds, I take tramadal and nambuten (NSAID) during the day, and I take 3 percocets and one to two muscle relaxers at night. I've tried slow release morphine, tramadal, and percocet, but anything slow release screws up my digestion badly.

Anyway, long story short, has anyone out there had radiofrequency? If so, any advice or tips would be hugely appreciated. Also, has anyone had fusion done at three levels? Or has anyone had artificial discs put in at three levels?

This is my favorite place to come and read whenever I get depressed and anxious, so thank you all who post and respond in support.
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Comments

  • Go to the Search tab beside the Spine Health logo at the top of this page and type in radiofrequency rhizotomy, and you will get quite a few hits. Many of us have had the procedure done, so you can read up on our experiences.

    Good luck, and I hope you get some relief if you choose to have it done!

    Tracy
  • New Member post. But please do try the rhizotomy. It has worked wonders for me. Just don't expect immediate pain relief. It takes 4-6 weeks for the nerve to completey die and it will take about that long to get relief. The good news is that the pain relief is usually longer lasting than injections. It usually lasts about 1 year for me until the nerves regenerate but I have seen people that had it last up to 2 years. My doc says that the key to this procedure is to have the patient awake and able to respond when the correct nerve is found. This will insure that they burn the correct nerve. The procedure itself is not pleasant but no worse than my pain is on one of my worst days. The pain only lasts a few seconds as it is numbed as soon as you signal that is the nerve causing your pain. Well worth the few seconds of pain in order to get the results for me. Good luck and please keep us posted with your outcome.

  • Hi Lisa,
    I've had RF denervation and had 3 Level ADR in Germany last year. Did it work? Let's say I'm serving over 100mph again and playing 2 hrs of college level tennis at 51 yrs old. Yes it worked but success depends on who does it.
    Joe Montoro
    LisaLumbar said:
    Hi everyone

    I have read here on and off for the last two years, but now that I am scheduled for radiofrequency neurotomy, I am just panicked enough to post and beg for feedback. My back problems started about 8 years ago after my son was born. Every few months I'd get so "crooked" that I'd be bedridden for a couple days to a week with each occurance. For several years, I went to the chiropracter for adjustments and the doctor for muscle relaxers and pain meds. Then in 06, I sneezed and blew out two of my discs completely. I had steriod injections and physical therapy and three months later felt better. Then in Feb 07, my back pain became chronic with no injury or significant event. I just started to have pain that radiated down my right leg. Two years later at the age of 33, I've had no less than 10 steriod injections, almost a full year of physical therapy, traction, and pain meds. I've tried it all.

    My current doctor says I am not a candidate for surgery since I have problems at three levels. My disc problems are at the lowest 3 levels (L3-L5). The discs are degenerative, herniated, and leaking fluid. For well over a year, my doctor said no surgery. Now she says I need to try more invasive procedures, starting with radiofrequency at all three levels on both sides. If that doesn't work, she wants to me to have a discogram and possibly surgery (even though she said I couldn't have surgery over and over. Yes, I have problems with her.)

    As for meds, I take tramadal and nambuten (NSAID) during the day, and I take 3 percocets and one to two muscle relaxers at night. I've tried slow release morphine, tramadal, and percocet, but anything slow release screws up my digestion badly.

    Anyway, long story short, has anyone out there had radiofrequency? If so, any advice or tips would be hugely appreciated. Also, has anyone had fusion done at three levels? Or has anyone had artificial discs put in at three levels?

    This is my favorite place to come and read whenever I get depressed and anxious, so thank you all who post and respond in support.
  • having this procedure done at 8:30am on January 28th. I LOVE and TRUST my PM doc! I have L5-S1 issues but my fusion that I had 4 years ago seems to have fused perfectly. So in a way my NS, Ortho, PM and I are all confused as to why I am having this pain. So the PM THINKS it MIGHT be my facet joints. So he is going to do a total of 6 injections (3 on each side). The first set it to see if I get nerve pain relief, the second set is that if I do get nerve pain relief to just make sure it is not a placebo effect. After that he is going to go in and burn the nerves on the facet joint from L5-L3. He said he has 1 patient that has to have it done every 3 months BUT that the studies show (and so do his patients) that the AVERAGE length of time for pain relief is 10.25 months. Some people have it last a year or more and some have it last less than 10 months. I am going to give it a shot. I will NEVER EVER do another steroid or epidural injection EVER again. I have had at least 12 in the past 1.5-2 years. so I am over it. I had many BEFORE my surgery. I too am worried about the pain that I will have during this. But he said it is LESS painful than a Discogram. So I know I can handle it. He also told me he would do a light sedation of Fentynal with, man I can't remember what the other drug was, but it makes you totally relaxed and you really dont remember the whole procedure. Anyway I will keep you posted as to how this all goes. I know that the first injection starts on the 28th then I think a week or 2 later he does the second injection, then a week or 2 after that he is doing the whole nerve ablaison type deal-io. Anyway keep me posted as to how you are doing, how the procedure went etc. I will too keep you posted. MJ
  • to my L3-L4 facet joints. I found the procedure painful but the doc doing it was a friggin Nazi and didn't like to give pain meds, even during a procedure.

    The radiofreq did give me some relief but only lasted 4 months. But the results depends on the doc doing it. My Nazi doc let one of his PA's do mine. I don't think he did it properly. (But he got paid by my insurance regardless of the quality of his work.)

    I hope you have a better doc than I did. It should work for facets if done properly.

    Best wishes,
    EM
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