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Had my RFTC 1 1/2 weeks ago.

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:39 AM in Chronic Pain
I had this procedure done on December 3rd. I was terrified prior to having it done after reading something that another poster wrote. She/he said they were in terrible pain afterwards.

I will say that I'm not 100%, but after my procedure was done I was a bit sore in that area. The RFTC was in L3,L4,L5,S1 and my doctor and his assistant said that I would have muscular pain after because the probe to do this procedure is larger than one that they use for an injection.

I saw my PM doc this past Thursday and the only thing I'm having that I would say is pain related is a minor twinge when I first get up after lying down and occasionally during the day if I move in a twisting way. It feels more like a pinch. He prescribed patches that I can use in that area. If this is the worse it will be, I can live with it. I see him again in 6 weeks.

Naturally, I would like to say that I am totally pain free but I doubt that any of us will ever feel like we did prior to having back problems.

The weather here has really been cold, damp and rainy so I'm thinking that may be part of my problem now. I don't know if I mentioned this but I also have arthritis in that area.


  • is an RTFC? I'm not familiar with that terminology.

    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • RFTC is a radio frequency branch block. The doc goes in with a probe and burns the ends of the nerves that are in the area causing the pain. This is supposed to leave you pain free for 6 to 18 months. In time, these nerves regenerate themselves and pain may be back.

    Maybe someone else can explain it clearer than I did. I think its also called a rhizotomy

    So far, I am pleased with it. I only have a few sharp twinges, mostly when I first get up in the morning or after I have rested. Sometimes when I turn my body in a twisting motion even when standing I'll get one. If this is all I'm going to get, I'm fine. He does want me to do aquatic physical therapy. I'm waiting to hear from the PT place after he sends over the script for the type of aquatic therapy he wants me to have.
  • Is what we call this procedure. Every one is very different in how much pain that they may or may not have after this procedure.

    I have had this numerous times and have never reacted the same way twice.

    The nerves usually take 9 months to 1 year to regenerate.

    It will take 4-6 weeks to get relief from this procedure as the nerves do not die right away. I have seen numerous folks here that have had this procedure and it also takes them from 4-6 weeks to feel relief.

    I was surprised to see you write that you also have arthritis in that area. The purpose of rhizotomy's are to reduce or relieve the pain from arthritis in the facet joints.

    Try to be patient and do not give up on this procedure. It will take 4-6 weeks before you know if it helped and how much.

    You may type rhizotomy in the search box at the top of this page and find lots of posts from other members that have had this done.

    Good luck and I hope that you feel better soon.
  • J.J. Grey, thank you for your imput about this procedure. I have had 3 aquatic therapy sessions along with massage therapy which the physical therapist recommended. It feels good when I'm in the warm heated pool and then go into the hot tub for about 10 minutes. I still have 9 more sessions to go.

    I'm still getting occasional semi sharp twinges across the low back along with some aching in the area also. The aching I'm thinking may just be the change in temp and when rain is expected. The temps in my area are usually in the high 60's or low 70's this time of year but this year we've had unusually cold weather and lots of rain.

    I'm hoping that after I hit the 6 week mark which will be when I see my PM doc in January the pain will be gone or at least most of it.

    I get so depressed when I feel this way.

    I hope everyone had a great holiday.
  • glad that I could help and wish you luck.
  • I am delighted that you have got relief from your procedure. Unfortunately I am still in chronic pain. I have severe nerve irritation in lower back, buttocks and pain has now spread to my right abdomin. Lesioning made me much worse initially. It totally aggrivated my symptoms It was not the procedure for me. I am now waiting for a procedure called Racqs. Has anyone heard of this? I am down as an urgent case although I have been told that the consultant is booked out for the month of January. I am weary from pain and do not know how much more I can take.
  • I am sorry to hear of your suffering. You may want to start a new post in order to ask your question as most folks will not see it added on to this post. Good luck to you.
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