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Post rhizotomy pain - duration?

bekabbeka Posts: 8
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:41 AM in Pain Management
Hello everyone

I'm new and have a question about facet rhizotomy that I had done one week ago.

I have read in some very informative posts that it could take quite a few weeks until I can evaluate the results.

What I'm unclear on though is how long the increased pain I'm having might last. What are others' experiences?

My doctor told me I might be in some extra pain above and beyond my regular pain for a 'few days'. Well it's now 7 days, and I'm still in a lot of exacerbated pain - particlarly burning and spasming that extends all the way up my back to my neck at times. It's scary when you don't know if/when it might end.

I had L3 - T10 done, all on the left side.

Many thanks in advance for any responses.



  • I'm afraid doctors are a tad optimistic when they tell patients timelines! They almost never tell you it will be longer than it ends up taking.

    I think what you are experiencing is very typical. I think the more atypical would be if you felt fine after a day or two!!

    Just from others' experiences here on the board, I have heard a week, weeks up to a month....Did he give you any pain medication to take?

    Also remember to ice...frequently if it is hurting badly. Ice works well for a variety of back pains and people forget to try it. Just ice for 15-20 minutes each hour.

    I hope others will chime in with their experiences.
    Good luck, and I hope this works for you....

  • It takes 4 weeks for a Rhizotomy to work,that how long it took mine to calm down...
  • Thanks for the replies. No, he didn't give me any extra pain meds. Lucky I already take oxycontin or I don't know what I would have done.

    I now understand that it can take 4 or so weeks to get relief (only due to you guys here, no thanks to the doc). But what I'm really wondering is can the pain stay exacerbated all that time? I sort of thought maybe there'd be intial exacerbation, then a tapering off to something like your pre rhizotomy pain, then relief if the procedure was a success.

    8 days now and the pain still stinks. I just didn't expect this level of extra pain still at this stage.

    The ice does help. Thanks for the tip.
  • 19 days now since RFA and some really bad burning has kicked in the last few days. Needing to ice quite a bit and pain meds not doing a whole lot.

  • Sorry to hear that things aren't going so well for you right now. From what I can remember of mine my injection site was very pain full for 2 full weeks. I never did get any relief from my daily pain after the procedure. I too ended up with burning along my outer hip around to my back and into my rear. along with the burning I also experienced pins and needles along the same area. The burning was downright painful and the pins and needles felt more like knives. It's much worse in the winter when I get cold. Unfortunately I still experience this same pain everyday. From what the dr's tell me it's very rare for the pain from the burning and the pins and needles to last this long.

    Hopefully within the next few days you will start getting some relief. Keep up with the ice. That really helped for me.
  • I am sorry that you are still in that much pain. I had one done in my L3,4,5. I had really bad referred pain after wards. It was neuritis and did not go away until 6 months later. The procedure did work after that. The only problem with me is that it has been 12 months and now I am getting the same lower back pain as before. So I guess it is time to have it done again. I hope yours last longer than mine did.

    GL to you.
  • Gosh, I sure hope the RFA pain is gone....this post was from a year ago.... #:S
  • I had both the left and right side done within 2 weeks.  The pain is worse than normal and very consistent. I had the second side done 2 weeks ago.  Exercise helps with the pain during movement but comes back once I stop.   Waiting patiently and staying positive 
  • I really do not understand where folks are getting this severe pain after the procedure, I had my procedure 28 hours ago an still no more inflated pain from the procedure. Kind of baffels me what people are saying.
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    Hello alvinnormand !
    We are all so individual with our spinal situation and results of time of effectiveness to treatment, as with so many things medical.
    It is so good to hear things are going well for you!

    Welcome to Spine-Health
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