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can any one tell me about cauterizing the nerves in the lower back

cherrybabycherrybaby Posts: 49
edited 06/11/2012 - 1:44 PM in Spinal Injections
Hello everyone
It has been a little while since I have been on here. So quickly about me. I am a mother of 3 youngest is 7 so not to small of kids in my home. I 2007 i was hurt at work originally diagnosed with sprain and strain of the lower back then I was told that I have DDD and Spinal Stenosis. I had a level one fusion with hardware July of 08' after three months of recovery I felt good for 3 months and then the pain all came back slowly. In October of 09' I squatted down to pick something off the floor and it felt like someone put a knife in my back and pulled down. I was in tears, I was told that the hardware was tearing and ripping my mussel and tissues in that area. So in December 09' right before Christmas they took the hardware out. It has not helped at all.
The Doc. now wants me to come in and do the injection that numbs the nerves. To see if doing the cauterizing of the nerves will help me out.
So what all do they do and do they work??? What I have read on other sites they are saying that it take up to 8 weeks for them to take full effect and last up to two years.
So if you have had this done will you tell me if it is worth it or not.
Thanks so much everyone for you help.

Meds that I am currently on
Gabapentin 1200 mg 3 times day
Lortab 7.5 1 to 2 times a day( do not want to be on pain
meds been on since 2007)
Cyclobenzaprine 10 mg3 times day


  • I'm sorry you are having so much pain. It sounds like you have been through the wringer. I had a rhizotomy after a medial branch block showed promise in relieving my pain. The rhizotomy took a little longer than an ESI. I did have worsened pain for about 3 weeks, then the nerves really died off and I was pain free just shy of one year. They also can be repeated so it might be useful to you. A second one did not work for me and I had a single level fusion at L4/5.

    Good luck and keep us posted!
  • I too had a rhizotomy after a successful medial nerve branch block. It took about three weeks to take effect and since then I have been doing so much better. I had a very sharp increase in muscle spasms also for about a month after the rhizo, but this slowly went away and it was worth every spasm to get the relief I have.

    Keep in mind that a rhizotomy will not work on everyone. First you will get a numbing agent put into your facet area to see if your pain is being generated from this area. Once this is done, if you get enough relief from this, they will do the rhizo. I have heard the magic time frame of a year or so for relief and I am hoping that during this time I can drop weight and strengthen my core enough to give me some longer term results.

    Best of luck to you, take care....Mitch
  • I went in last Friday and had the trial injection done. Unfortunately it did not give me any relief.
    I am having a problem that when I am sitting and I strech my legs strait out it is causing pain in my back do not think it has anything to do with the shot so I need to take to the doc. about it when I go in on Thursday.
  • I can tell you that Spinal Nerve cauterization is a procedure where the physician uses a high temperature controlled heat source inside a thin catheter to deliver high heat to the effected area. Cauterization was used to stop heavy bleeding, especially during amputations. It is my understanding that there are several areas that this can be done. In the case of the spine the heat will cauterize the small nerve fibers and blood vessels, and shrink the material that makes up the annulus. The shrinkage improves disc function and the cauterization of the nerve fibers relieves pain. This procedure is performed only on patients who have failed conservative therapy such as epidural steroid injections, physical therapy, and medications….
  • That must be a different procedure than most of us have done. I had radio frequency ablation, which is done with RF, not heat.

    I wonder if cauterization is the same procedure they use on horses? My vet and I were talking about the increased risk of neuroma when heat is used instead of RF.
  • Hi all,

    I am new here and have been reading up on the burning of nerves. I have scoliosis and have had surgery 18 years ago and have rods in my back. I also found out I have spinal stenosis. They have tried therapy and epiderals and now after 2 blocks I have had my nerves burned. L2, L3, L4 and L5 on the right side. I had this done on 7/28/10 and it feels like something has changed or moved pain wise. I still have quite a bit of pain and feel I can bend a little better. It also feels like the pain has moved some and having a burning sensation. I am hoping it is the nerves dying and I will receive more relief. I have notice a lot of people saying 3 weeks and sometimes longer for relief. So hold good thoughts that this will soon be the case for me.

  • This information was very helpfull. I have to see a specialist about having this procedure in L4 L5 and had no idea what to expect. I have to get a train from Nambucca Heads to Newcastle for the procedure and a train back home the same day. I can't afford to pay accomodation to stay in town. Can you tell me, will I be able to sit on a train that long ( 6 hours ) after having it done?
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