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RF Neurotomy (ablation): has this worked for you / how long did it take to notice results?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,900
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:26 AM in Pain Management
I just had a Radiofrequency Neurotomy done three weeks ago on 12/22/08. Levels L3, L4, L5 (right side). I am hoping this will relieve the pain I have in my lower back, but I have heard it can take anywhere between 2 weeks to 2 months to notice results, if ever.

Have you had this procedure done (once or more) to relieve pain in the lumbar region? Was it successful, and if so how long did it take you to notice relief?

Thanks much.
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1

Comments

  • Thanks Paul. I haven't gotten any relief from the lumbar RF Neurotomy, three weeks out. The doctor told me it would be two to three weeks before I noticed any relief, but that he can't do anything more for me if it doesn't work. Blocker injections were sucessful in temporarily relieving pain, which as diagnostic tools were strong indications that the RF burn would be successful.

    With no relief yet, I am hoping to hear some stories that will encourage me to be patient and keep waiting. I don't care how long I have to wait, I just hope it works in the end. If I had a better idea of how long I might have to wait before the relief comes, it would certainly help my patience.
  • I had my lower back done,in january 2008,i had both sides done.It does take about a month to work,mine lasted about a year...
  • I am 3 months from my RF and my pain is worse, my doc said to give it the entire 8 weeks before evaluating the pain.
    Jay
  • My genearal practitioner told me yesterday that i should probably try this procedure for my dislocated coccyx(tip of tailbone). I will talk to a pain management physician this Friday to discuss if this would work for me and other options as well. In the last 3 years, I've had caudal epidurals and trigger point injections which I felt was just a bandaid fix. I let you know what I decide.

    Vicki(Agriman's sister)
  • I have been getting this done for the last 4 years. It is the best relief that I have ever had and takes about 4-6 weeks to get results because it takes that long for the nerve to completely die. It has lasted anywhere from 9-12 months for me as the nerves will eventually grow back. Good luck and keep us posted.
  • After the initial pain from the surgery itself, my relief was immediate. By the evening of the surgeries (I've had three), my pain levels were greatly reduced. The first two gave me approximately six weeks of relief, the third one gave me about six months of relief.

    Tracy
  • I had a Lumbar RF done last Wednesday. Was pretty sore for the next 2 days. SO far not much relief. My Dr said it may take up to a week before any results.
  • I got mines on Monday the 13 of April 09. I'm still evaluating the results. So far I have had some pain relief I don't have the groin pain, and the pain to my leg has diminish somewhat, I notice the numbness in my hips is there somewhat. My expectation got the best out of me. what would be next? Dan
  • Got this done about 3 months ago, cervical spine and occipital nerve. After one month, I was worried that not much was working, then neck got much better, but still had severe headaches. Now, headaches are much less frequent and neck still really good. %75+ improvement overall.
    So, for me, yes. I'll do it again asap if needed.
  • I had one done about a month ago on my right side. I noticed only a slight change in my pain. It isn't enough to change the amount of pain meds I take, etc so now I am going for a SCS.
  • I'm Spanish and not very good whit my spelling but my comment or concern is the Medial branch Neurotomy treatment will help me? Lower back pain L3,L4,L5 and if is truth the nerves they burn or kill regrowth back up in my case I had many different type of injections and my Doctor is recommending these treatment, the very possible extend time and minimize pain relieve I will be getting these done in the near future 2-3 weeks. (father of 3 16year 11year and 5year old.)
  • Your English is great! I am having the same procedure at the end of this month and will let you know how I do. You be sure and keep us posted. Don't you hate living with all this pain??? And on top of it all, I have the swing flu. UGH. Best of luck. Kathy
  • Had radiofrequency nerve ablation about a month ago for low back pain...did nothing for my pain.
  • I just had this done on Tuesday and it is now Friday. I felt really good on Wednesday and Thursday until the evening when I started to get the little twinges in my butt cheek that starts before the actual pain. (My pain is mostly in my butt when I walk, vacuum, bend, etc. and sitting down or laying down makes it stop hurting.) My doctor said I would know in a week if the procedure worked or not but I have noticed in some of the comments that it took much longer than one week so I am wondering if this could possibly work after all.
  • I'm going in at 8:30 am tomorrow for my rf procedure. My doc told me that he's alot more interested in how I feel 6 weeks after the procedure than the 1st few weeks. Said it'll probably take that long to see results. He also said that it wouldn't take away all my pain but we are hoping for a better than 50% improvement. I'll keep those who are following this thread posted. K
  • Don't give up yet. My doc also told me that it should only take a week or two to get results the first time that I ever got one done. I found out through personal experience that it actually takes 4 weeks or more. I have had this done about 5 times and it always takes at least 4 weeks. Good luck.
  • I had my RFA yesterda (10/26) and am updating my progress daily. Look for my new thread in this forum for more information. Kathy
    victor tos said:
    I'm Spanish and not very good whit my spelling but my comment or concern is the Medial branch Neurotomy treatment will help me? Lower back pain L3,L4,L5 and if is truth the nerves they burn or kill regrowth back up in my case I had many different type of injections and my Doctor is recommending these treatment, the very possible extend time and minimize pain relieve I will be getting these done in the near future 2-3 weeks. (father of 3 16year 11year and 5year old.)
  • Had a cervical neurotomy Oct 1st. First week post procedure I didn't see improvements and I did not get much post op pain. 2nd and third week were harder (burning and achy) and I wasn't able to be on my feet for long. I'm just over 4 weeks now and maybe have some improvement over 2nd and 3rd week reaction. Spoke with the doctor today and the chances this will be concidered successful are less likely at this point, but still may happen. I'm going to try to back down on pain meds and see if I'm dealing with pain issues due to being sensitive to withdrawl from the meds.
  • Hi,
    I am hoping for some info from fellow suffers.I was in informed last week about Radio-frequency.It caught my interest.I was hoping someone could help me.I was reading about some of the side effects.I was reading about,some people where having pain,some weakness,strange burning,in the tale-bone area,going up and to the sides.I was thinking of have the Raf done, but I already have these horrible feelings and they can't can't seem to figure out how to stop it.I am on enough pain meds to put down a horse with no break.The only thing that seems to give a little relief is my trusty electric blanket,Any body else hear anything like this,or any other info would be great. thanks Jule
  • I had an RFA for the c-3,4 &5 area 6 wks ago. The results are not good. The procedure itself was VERY painful. Post pain has been worse than previous, plus I have other new symptoms. Going to see a neurologist to see the extent of damage done and how long to heal from the RFA, if ever. The PM dr who did this is no longer caring for me and his practice is questionable, but it is too late for me now. Double check to see what your dr rating is. See if there are complaints against the dr or practice before you have it done. Best wishes!
  • I had RFA. I had pain that lasted several weeks afterward- I was reassured by my PM that it is pretty normal. Indeed the pain cleared up and the RFA gave me pain relief that lasted several months.

    I am interested to get the results of my latest scans to see to see if my facet joints are actually showing wear already.
  • I just had a RF about 3wks ago. I have had no relief. It is worse. What do I do next?
  • I had the rf done 4 weeks ago, not much relief, it hurts worse. Doctor said with cervical it takes longer.I just dont know.Im starting to panic, dont know what else to do.Any input would be appreciated. Thanks, Katlin decompression, facet point injections, botox injections,steriod injections, therapy, rf
  • Maybe you are someone who needs to consider a neurostimulator??

    I've only had RFA and prolotherapy on my neck because it isn't the worst problem I have.

    Hopefully you'll get some responses from people who suffer more from neck pain than anything else.

    Tracy
  • I am 4 weeks post RFA on my left L5 S1 and L4 medial branch nerves. The doc gave me a steroid injection during the procedure. I felt pain relief for the first two weeks and then an increase in pain as the steroid presumably wore off. I just started a 7 day course of oral steroids and still no pain relief. Trying to stay positive as the doc said it could take up to 6 weeks for the nerves to completely die. Anyone else have some initial relief and then increased pain a few weeks post RFA?
  • Hi I had an Rd ablation done 11/16/12 I hurt a little but nothing like I did nothing like my lower back does I have 3 herniated discs in my back also, I was involed in a car accident in 2007 and it has been a domino effect ever since first my neck then the ulnar nerve then the shoulder now the back its been one roller coaster after another I tried to work I did for 4 years people couldn't believe that I did but I pushed myself which I should've done I regret it I am now severely handicaped I will never be right again I am only 46 years old I should be in my prime not an old lady that can't move I will keep you informed if it works 6-8 weeks they say keep me in your prayers thanks for reading
    Joyce
  • TracyLynneTTracyLynne Posts: 599
    edited 11/24/2012 - 3:38 AM
    I had some short term relief with my 5th rhizotomy, which was at the end of October; four weeks after the fact, my pain has increased substantially. :sad: I had great results with the first four, so am pretty disappointed about this, especially because it has always been the best option for me, and relief has come immediately.

  • I had a bilateral facet rhizotomy on 12/6/12 and it did nothing, except make things worse. It was a complete waste of time, money, pain, and energy. Wish they could just inject longlasting anasthetic, I am talking about something that lasts months instead of hours ;-/
  • November 27th, 2012 Bi-Laterial at C6&C7 Level. I was given medicine thru IV to sedate me, however I was woken up and asked questions if I felt better during the procedure. This was the most painful procedure I have ever had. The burning sensation was un-bearable I was Literally screaming from the Pain. Afterward the recovery nurse told me I hope it was worth it for you. Since this procedure I have Severe Burning, swelling , and pins and needles feeling in my Right arm from my shoulder to my finger tips. The only thing that helps me is ICE. I am not able to tolerate the side effects from Gabbapentin, or Lyrica. I have a follow up appointment on Monday January 28th. I do not feel any relief in my neck either. I am curious as to what the Pain Management Dr. plans on doing next. How long is this burning, swelling and pins and needles going to last. I pray I do not have permanent Nerve Damage. My left side is fine no symptoms. My Pain Dr. is a very compasionate Dr. He always makes sure all of my questions are answered. I do have Facet Joint Syndrome. Inflamation can be very painful. I will post after my follow up, as I find this thread very interesting, as we are all different and every Dr. has their own way preforming the procedure.
    ACDF C4-C7 5/13/2010. Synthetic Bone Graft Failed Fusion.
    PCF C4-C7 8/13/13. Rods and Screws Fused in 3 Months with Autograft.
    C6-C7 Spineous process Surgically Shaved Off 3/11/14.
  • wolfsbeign said:
    Thanks Paul. I haven't gotten any relief from the lumbar RF Neurotomy, three weeks out. The doctor told me it would be two to three weeks before I noticed any relief, but that he can't do anything more for me if it doesn't work. Blocker injections were sucessful in temporarily relieving pain, which as diagnostic tools were strong indications that the RF burn would be successful.

    With no relief yet, I am hoping to hear some stories that will encourage me to be patient and keep waiting. I don't care how long I have to wait, I just hope it works in the end. If I had a better idea of how long I might have to wait before the relief comes, it would certainly help my patience.
    I could have written this myself. Seriously. It has been 5 weeks, since my Procedure, and what you said id exactly what I was gonna say in my Post. I am now going to see a Pain Management Specialist on Feb 14th. Meds are the Only thing that give me ANY relief.

    I had High hopes that the Burn would save me from all this Pain. Everyday is the same, and it has been OLD long before my first steroid injection (which lasted about 4 months) and my 2nd Steroid injection ( just over a month of relief).
    I have done the Chiropractor route, and it did make some improvement, but my Insurance only allows 10 visits a year, and OoP is too expensive.
    Massage Therapy was a little less effective, but sure felt good, and it DID relieve the inflammation pain.

    ANYONE have any other ideas besides Pain Meds? Anyone consider acupuncture? Cupping? Alternative therapies??? I'm at my ropes end.
    I WAKE UP and it already hurts, and that's not fair, lol. I am functional at least. Looking for work daily, but can't do a damned thing that I used to.
    SOJohnson
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