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Darrell ODDarrell O Posts: 14
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:36 AM in Pain Management
I will try to be short with this but just wanted some input from "those who know"
Injured on the job and had a C-6 and C-7 fusion with plate and donor bone in 1999. Everything was fine pain stopped and I was able to return to work in 2003.
On June 6th 2009, a drunk driver ran a red light and struck the drivers side of my patrol car. received a concussion, and the pain in my cervical area returned. EMG was negative, but did show some carpal tunnel in my right hand (?) no symptoms before. I have shooting pains that travel from the right side of my neck down into my little finger as well as my ring finger. Since June 6th it seems I have pain 24-7. MRI was negative.
Neurosurgeon sent me to a PM clinic, where I received first a cervical epidural, facet block, and then finally a cervical epidural with catheter.which seemed to give me a little relief, The other two did not.
My last visit to the neurosurgen was 9-14-09, he seemed a little puzzled as to where all this pain was coming from.He now wants me to have a Thoracic T1-T11 Trigger point injection . Also stated a Rhizotomy may be of some help, my question is how do they determine which nerve is causing the pain, and if anyone out there has had this procedure did it help?
Just wondered if there were any Police Officers on this forum, seems that I cant grip my service revolver, and can't get the nerve up to fire the dang thing with this injury (shooting pains into my neck when I make a fist or raise the wepon up)Sorry this is so long....


  • Hello Darrell
    I've had it done twice but in the lumbar region all five levels and both sides. It's also called a "De-nervation" It is a procedure that cauterizes the nerves around the facet joints and is done by using heat generated by radio waves conducted under flouroscopy so that the catheter is guided to the correct area. Apparently, the facet joints are rich in nerve endings. First the area is numbed using local aneasthetic and an injection is passed through the skin into the joint. Then a current (I think) is passed through and you feel a kind of a spasm and that's when you know they have hit the right spot. Then it is heated and the nerves are killed off. Sounds worse than it actually is. The nerves can regenerate after about 12-18 months. If the pain is eased by this procedure then it confirms that it is the source of the pain - which may return as the nerves regenerate.
    Did it help? No, not in my case as there were other things going on that were causing the pain and surgery was necessary.
    Good luck with yours
    Best Wishes
    Brian (London UK)
  • I always have really bad pain for a few days to a week after the procedure. Then, I get some reduction in my pain. The relief does not last very long but I am always happy to have less pain. I hope this procedure helps you!
  • If you are having strength and grip issues, a rhizotomy isn't going to help that. The rhizotomy is done to intervene in the pain path. Is your NS aware that you have more than just pain issues?

    Welcome to Spine Health.

  • My first neck surgery was great but then had another bad disc and Nero didn't think it was bad enough for surgery after looking at MRI, but agreed to do it anyways cuz I said the pain was severe and just as before with last disc. When he got in there he said it WAS way worse than MRI showed. Well that surgery was aweful. Didn't stop the pain. I had 2 esi's done with no relief and a rhizotomy with no relief. The injections give me relief for a few days, but I feel like I have another disc out, feels like the last 2.
    I also have shoulder arm and hand pain. And I know it's from my neck. Just like the last 2. I would try the rhizotomy or esi's, you never know til you at least try! Alot of people do get relief. I want to give it another try. Also they do this proceedure under xray and can usually get the nerve that's the culprit. But it only last about 9 months I think. But that's 9 months of relief if it works. And it is painful the first couple if days but if it works then I guess no pain no gain. Good luck to you,hope you find relief!

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