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how much pain relief for my pm doc to ok the rhizotomy?

in painiin pain Posts: 11
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:32 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hi This is my first post here. I am writing this for my girlfriend who has facet joint hypertrophy in lower lumbar region. She has had 3 rounds of injections. she seems to get about a full week of good relief then the pain will slowly start to return. Her question is should she be pain free for at least 5 weeks following these injections? She goes back to work on the 5th day following the shots. She does get immediate relief and says she feels no pain immediatly after the shots. Would this qualify her for a rhizotomy? She is hoping the doc will say yes. but she is not sure what type of relief he wants to see before going the next step. Unfortunately she does have to stand to do her job everyday which we all know doesn't do any favors either. Also hates where she works, so stress doesn't heal things either. Any input would be greatly appreciated. thanks so much for taking the time to read this. It is so hard to watch someone you care so much about go through this. thanks!!


  • Normally a doc will inject the area with a small amount of anesthetic in order to have diagnostic proof that calming that area of the nerve will relieve the pain. This relief is felt within minutes and may only last a few hours. Based on the results, the doc will make the decision as to whether a rhizotomy would help or not.

    Normally with the type of injections it sounds like she is getting, a large area is bathed in anesthetic and steroids. So it isn't as fine tuned for diagnostic purposes.

    Basically the only one who can answer the question for you, is the doc.

  • From my knowledge of this the relief is very variable, from none to 6-8 weeks.
    There is an anaesthetic injected too so that may account for the immediate but temporary relief.
    If it is not working, then she needs to try something else.
    There are epidurals, as well as the rhizotomy.
    It is not so easy to work out what is wrong, but if the facet injection has done nothing then perhaps it is something other than the facet that is the problem.
    The pain doctor will take this on board and decide the next plan of attack.
    It may take a while to sort out though.
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