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Yay! Scheduled for RF ablation next week!

happyHBmomhhappyHBmom Posts: 2,070
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:43 AM in Pain Management
3 levels (L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1), right side. I asked him to do both sides but apparently insurance doesn't like it when the procedures get that big :(

But eventually, I will denerve all those danged facet joints if it's the last thing I do! Sitting trot, you will one day be mine!



  • I am happy to see you're getting your ablation done. It worked great for me for almost a year!!

    Best Wishes,
  • Mine has been such a blessing. Has give me at least 50% relief. I had both sides done, 3 levels BUT I ended up paying $2,000 out of pocket so next time I'll have to do what you do and do it piece by piece. I had absolutely NO sedation and no pain medicine prior to mine and I didn't find it to be a painful procedure. In fact, It was kind of interesting. I could partially see what was happening on the flouroscope monitor. Good luck. Remember 1 thing. It took me a good 5 to 6 weeks to really see the results so be patient!
  • Yes, I've been admonished to be patient and have arranged my shedule to be light the next week or two.

    What's up with the insurance companies not wanting them to do both sides?
  • So had the procedure today- 5 levels instead of 3, right side. I had the sedation. The procedure was really quite easy, although I won't swear it would have been so without sedation! The hardest part was laying down for an hour and the not-numb side was hurting.

    I am quite hopeful, as several of the nerves he zapped (you have to be able to feel the nerves before they zap them) were definite pain generators for me. Now I hope they all die quick!

    I was pretty loopy with the versed :)
  • Good to hear you had the RFA. Hopefully it will help you. Best wishes. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I had RFA both sides from L4-S1 in November and again in January because the first one didn't work. I definitely had a better result the second time. The strange thing is the pain seems to be coming back and it's only been 3 1/2 months. Has anyone had a similar experience? I was hoping for at least another 2 1/2 months.
  • I had RFA both sides from L4-S1 in November and again in January because the first one didn't work. I definitely had a better result the second time. The strange thing is the pain seems to be coming back and it's only been 3 1/2 months. Has anyone had a similar experience? I was hoping for at least another 2 1/2 months.

    Sorry about the double post!
  • Don't lose hope. I have these done about 1x a year. The first time did not last long for me either. It seems that the more times I get it done the longer they last.
    I think that the reason insurance does not want to cover both sides at once is because there is a chance that having just 1 side done will do the trick. Really not great psychology because if you do need to go back for the other side you are paying for the surgery suite all over again. Go figure.
  • I haven't lost hope. My injury was 5 years ago. I've had 15 procedures, Lesi's, Facet Blocks, RFA's. We put in for authorization for another RFA - Worker's Comp takes FOREVER to approve anything. I'm probably looking at July. I have a very positive outlook. I go to work every day and stand for most of it. Eventually, I'll have disc replacement. 2 levels, L4-5 and L5-S1. We've put in for it twice with no response from WC. I won't do anything else invasive. No fusion for me! I'm only 47. I have a lot of years in front of me. If I didn't keep myself positive, I wouldn't be able to do as much as I do now. I have 2 young children, a wonderful wife, and 24 years left on my mortgage. I can't give up hope! My pain mgmt doc said he's seen this before. Everyone is different. Hopefully, the next one will last longer. Of course, it isn't a permanent solution and I have to be careful, because I can't always feel when I'm doing too much. Thanks for the good wishes!
  • Hey, everyone. I had the second side done today, and this side was a little tougher- he couldn't find the nerve at L2 (where the injury is, so my anatomy isn't normal- I kept saying "heh, maybe that one is dead already" and he kept saying "I can't believe you're this tough with me digging around in there like this!"). At one point I think I did say "ow." We did find one after a while and I just said "fine, kill that one!" and he laughed.

    I'm still hopeful, although 2 weeks later I'm still pretty sore. I think there are a couple of reasons. One, I suspect the first RFTC released a couple of permanent muscle spasms that have been going on for a while, and those muscles are NOT happy! Second, I've been doing a little more with the increased range of motion, and again- the muscles aren't quite up to the task. Third, I'm having other health issues and not moving around as much in general.

    So good luck everyone. One of the nurses was complaining about his insurance today and I offered to loan him a horse- it will get you approved for procedures real quick if you just break a few bones in your spine. It's even quicker if the bone fragments float about and settle in places they aren't wanted.

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