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RFTC branch block

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:39 AM in Chronic Pain
Has anyone had this done and if so did it help? My PM suggested this (dorsal medial branch block L3, l4, L5, S1)


  • You can read about the procedure here:


    They are done for diagnostic purposes primarily. If you end up getting some pain relief from it, that is a bonus!!

    Good luck with the procedure.

  • Yes, as Gwennie said, these injections are usually diagnostic. They inject a numbing agent into certain nerves and if you get relief for the following 6 or so hours, then they know where your pain is coming from. Then they can go back in and do a rhizotomy (or nerve burn) on those same nerves to kill them. If that procedure works for you, you can get relief for up to 18 months.

    I had the nerve block done about a month ago and didn't get any relief at all, but I know many people can get relief with these procedures. Good luck and keep us posted.

  • What my PM doc said he is going to do is the burning nerve thing. He is doing it on the right side since the left side has felt pretty good since my joint injection. However, as of early this morning, the pain on my left low back area is the same type of pain I'm having on the right.

    I thinkg I will call Monday and let his assistant know that the left side is as painful as the right since this morning. I wonder if he can do both the nerve burning procedure on both sides at one time. I don't want to have to go back again to have the other side done, I want it done at one time if possible.

    I guess you can tell by my rambling that I'm pretty upset & depressed over this. Please bear with me. I just want to feel good again and get my life back.

    I thought that after I had my disc surgery that I would feel great, but thats not the case.
  • I had this procedure on Nov 5th last. Immediately I began to experience considerablely incresaed pain. I have been in agony since. I have had a number of facet joint blocks and got good relief. Now I am worse than ever. Even though I am on morphine, the pain is intense. I am really worried. The doctor feels that my body has gone into spasm. I am meeting him tomorrow. I am off work. It has been an awful experience.What do I do now?
  • After reading the last post, I'm a bit concerned. I certainly don't want to have more pain then I have now.

    A acquaintance said he has had this done and it really helped him and relieved the pain.

    If anyone else has had this radiofrequency procedure done, please post your comments. I have one more week before I have this procedure done.
  • There are many more people that get relief from the injections than more pain. Some people simply just get no relief at all.

    Please don't use the forums as a guide whether to have this procedure or not. As a general rule, most members of the forums are here for support because they're still in pain, regardless of what treatment they've had, and the ones that got relief are off living their lives and not posting here.

    I hope you get relief from the injections as many have.
  • Hi everyone, thanks for all the replies.

    After having two good days, yesterday & today, I start having doubts if I should have this radiofrequency burning procedure done. On days when I get these sharp pains, thats when I say what the heck, I may as well have it taken care of.

    Do any of you have good days without or with minimal pain? Is this just weird that some days I would have pain and others not.
  • I have been in extreme since my procedure. I feel now that It was not the way forward for me. It definately triggered my increased pain. I have been back to my Pain Mamagement Consultant. He now feels that my problem may be in The SI Joint. I must now have further MRI'S, one of the lumber spine and another of the SI Joint. He tells me that there are other options. I feel that it will be well after Christmas before anything is done. I am out of work. I feel as if I am in "Limbo-Land"

    If your doctor is sure that your problem is facet joint syndrome, then you have a good chance of success.
  • padraigin, did you have the radiofrequency nerve burning procedure? I have had shots in the nerve, in the facet joint and it only helped a little and the pain is back. Not constantly but on and off. Sometimes its a sharp stabbing pain and other times it a constant ache on the low back and buttox.

    I have a friend who has had this done and said that it helped. However, after reading your posts, I'm a bit concerned.

    Surgery for 3 herniated discs in 2007

  • Since I've read the post here from the one who has had this procedure done and is in greater pain, naturally I am concerned since my procedure is coming up next week.

    If anyone else has had this radiofrequency nerve burning procedure done and has had positive results, please let me know. I've also read that there is quite a bit more pain after its done for a few weeks. I am curious and concerned.

    I am probably looking for reassurance because after reading tthat post, I am very concerned.
  • Hi Granny 5,
    I did have Radiofrequency Lesioning. That is where the nerves are burnt. I had it done on 3 levels,L4,L5,S1. I was in extreme pain afterwards. I thought it would ease but it did not. It is 3 weeks today and I can honestly say that I have never been in worse pain. The consultant said that he thought that the pain was due to muscle spasm and would settle in 2/3 weeks. It has not. I went to my G.P and phsyiotherapist and neither could do anything for me.I mysely feel that the procedure irrated some nerve. My pain is not on the area treated but further down. I have to wait now until I have the MRI'S on Sunday next and I do not see the consultant on December 15th. My case I know must be very rare. Dont let my experience put you off. It might be the best thing ever for you. I know one man who lives in my area who hed RFL recently and it was a great success. I can only say that for me it appears to have made things worse.
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