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radio frequency ablation

DebraSDDebraS Posts: 12
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:43 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I met with another orthapedic spine dr today. He wants me to see his pain management dr in his office for this radio frequency ablation. From what Ive read it may not work so well on cervical spine. Has anyone had a good outcome with this? I have mild stenosis from 2 bulging discs, kyphosis c4-c7 & congenital fusion of c5-6. He advised me that I should go thru this to exhaust other avenues and prolong surgery as long as possible. Eventually yes I need surgery but to wait until the kyphosis & stenosis forces it.

I'm getting frustrated with these dr's that have pain management right in their office making you see yet another dr for more $ in their office. He does not prescribe medication only his pain management dr does. Ive had shots in the past that did absolutly nothing.


  • Hi Debra,

    I also have a congenital fusion in my cervical spine, but mine is at C 4/5. I also have 2 bulging/herniated discs, one above and one below the fusion. I also have two in the thoracic spine, DDD, and arthritis running through all of it. I have had 5 ESI's & facet blocks, and 1 medial branch block.
    I did have a rhizotomy in March 2008, and I am giving it another try with another doctor in the beginning of May. I had mixed results. It took me a little longer to heal from the actual burning, but I did get 75 to 80% pain area relief. All of the pain in my neck, trap muscles and trap area, shoulder and arm were gone! The main pain that remained was in my shoulder blade, and that pain remained at a very high level of 9 out of 10. I was still thrilled with the great results of the loss of the upper body pain.
    The main problem was that the relief only lasted two to three months for me. I went back to my doctor to set up an appointment to have it repeated, and I was shocked that she refused. She said that it failed, because it did not last long enough. I was then put on pain management for chronic pain medication mgt.:( I was so disappointed.
    I go to aqua/pool therapy, and another patient told me about his doctor. I went to see him, and he was willing to give it another try. I am less nervous too, because this time I will be asleep. I was wide awake for the last one.
    I am sorry that this was such a long story, but I hope that it helps you. I don't think that this is black and white. I think it is very gray as every body responds so differently, and everyone has such different experiences. If you have any questions, or want to contact me about that pesky birth defect fusion that is not helping our spines, you can PM me anytime!! I wish you all the Best!!

    glo from Mass. :)
  • I can understand all of the reasons that doctors work in multi-specialty groups but they scare me. How do I know if I really need the treatment or if they need to fill their schedule?

    So far I have been lucky that my doctors are far enough away from me that I can use the excuse that they are too far to travel for treatment several times a week like PT. In some cases I get the prescription and then fib and say I will call when I get home to setup an appt.

    Debra I know it is hard to wait but the doctor does have good intentions. Fusions are notorious for necessitating another and another. So the longer you can hold off without causing permanent damage the better you will be in the long run. Of course there comes a time when surgery is the right answer.

  • thank you for your replies. I am in no hurry for surgery and agree putting it off as long as possible is the right option. I am in such pain now I could not imagine how it would be after a 3 level fusion and later when the discs above & below decide not to behave anymore.

    Like you Kris, I ask myself do I need these treatments they are wanting me to do or are they trying to fill their schedule/collect more money. The pain medications I take are equivelent to baby aspirin-hydrocodone 5/500 2x a day and soma 350mg 3x a day. They never worked much from day 1. I have reports that I have denied and refused medications in the past when my neck/shoulder were acting up but back than the condition was not what it is now. For me to want medication means I am in serious pain. It seems like these dr's want to do all these very expensive procedures because there is more money in it than prescribing something a little stronger than what I take now. My pain management dr prescribed me something that would cost me over $500 per month(nucynta)-when I explained I could not afford this he said my only option was the shots at $1500 per shot but we could repeat it! He didnt offer me a different medication that my insurance covered or adjusting my current to work a little better just ok shots than if you cant buy this stuff. It feels like he is backing me into a corner to do shots, which my experience in the past is they did absolutly nothing but waste money, than again back when I had them my condition was not what it is now.

    Glo, I will pm you.
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