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NumbskullNNumbskull Posts: 1,526
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:57 AM in Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Problems
So I go for my SI RFA on Wednesday. It's my first one in the SI joint, not my first RFA though, I've had several cervical, so I know how they work in general.

Saying that though, I am a little nervous about getting this done! I've had the SI injections done twice, and they did cause quite a bit of post-pain after, is it the same with the RFA? Of course, I know everyone is different. Just looking for everyone's experiences I guess, and any advice you might have for after for comfort and pain relief. Any input is appreciated, and horror stories as well, don't hold back so I know what to possibly expect, lol. I did have one bad experience with a cervical RFA, ended up with a bad case of neuralgia that lasted for about 5 months, it was very painful, so I do know the consequences, but is it different for the lower back? Thanks!
APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own


  • Hey Kelly, how are you doing? I've never had a SI RFA. But, I think anything different that we have done to our bodies causes apprehension. I hope it goes well tomorrow. And you get lots of relief!!! Hugs, Brenda C.
  • Thanks Brenda! Any vote of confidence is much appreciated!
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,865
    Kelly, I know its too soon, but how are you doing after the SI RFA?
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    Sorry I didn't see your post sooner.

    I hope that all went well today and that it brings you lasting relief. Hope you're feeling okay and not in a lot of extra pain from the procedure. Please let us know.

  • Thanks Ron and Debbie! It actually went a lot more smoothly than I thought it would go. He used pulse rather than radio frequency, which is a lot easier on the bod. Everything's good so far, the freezing is starting to come out a little, so there is some discomfort now, but it could be worse. I've actually had a busy day with other appointments, so this is the first I've had to sit down and totally relax, I did take it easy though, didn't do anything strenuous, just made it to my other appointments. If it's anything like the other cervical pulse ablation I had though, it should go pretty easily, not like the RFAs. It seriously was a walk in the park in comparison! I highly recommend to anyone who is getting an RFA, to ask their doc about the pulse, it's so much better. Thanks again for your well wishes!
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • Kelly,

    Glad to hear it went well. I have had several rhyzotomies in the past that weren't terribly successful and am looking at RFA for my SI joint. Its good to know about the pulse. Keep us posted on how it goes.

    L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.
  • Hi, Kelly - so glad to hear things went well for you!

    I've had four RFAs, all of which have included my SI joints. My NS also used the pulsed method last time (October 2010) and it was MUCH easier on me, too; he said he'd had very good results with it.

    Does your NS also inject steroids with the RFA? Mine does, so I'm sure that adds to the success rate - I've had incredibly good luck with them.

    I've just been referred back to my guy again, as my SI pain went crazy this past few weeks....with any luck I can have another rhizotomy done before the end of the year.

    Take care.

  • Tracy, yes, he does give steroids as well. Isn't the pulse so much better? I couldn't get over the difference the first time he used that, compared to the traditional RFA.

    So far, the pain relief has been amazing. I can't wait for my follow up so he can book me in to do the other side! I can only hope that this lasts for months and months!

    Tracy and Jani, hope you can both get in to get yours done soon!
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • Too bad he didn't do both sides at once; my NS did mine bilaterally. One of the RFAs was two levels each of my C and T spine (worked great on the C spine, but not so much on the T spine.....) AND several levels of my L spine. I worry a little about the fact that I've had so many steroid injections done, but I look for quality of life, so if that's what it takes, so be it.

    I don't expect to be able to get in very quickly with my NS, but the last two times I saw him, I stayed with my kids for a week (my doc is about 300 miles from where I live) and waited until he had a cancellation in the OR - I lucked out both times.

    Nice to hear from you - hope to hear good news when you get the other side done.


    P.S. It sounds like you are lucky, as I am, in that I get relief right away. I honestly think that is because of the steroids - I've heard from many others who do not have the steroids injected, and their relief is either non-existent or takes days to weeks.....
  • well, the day is finally here! I'm getting the other side done later on today, I so can't wait, and hope it works just as well... Now watch, the first side will start to hurt again within the next couple of days... LOL
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    Good Luck Kelly, I hope it works well for you


    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Hope it goes well again for you, Kelly - maybe he can do a 'tune up' on the other side??

    Have a wonderful holiday season.


    P.S. I see my NS again on January 16th with hopes he'll book me for another RFA....those darn SI and facet joints are being very stubborn!!
  • Thanks guys!!

    Well, the side he did is the side that I have all the problems with my leg, with soft tissue in my thigh, and nerve damage all the way down. All I can say is holy crap did it ever hurt... When he was digging around to test the nerves, it burned so bad, all the way down my leg. Then, when he started the procedure, the burning and pressure it caused on my leg, it felt like my whole leg (and cheek) was being squeezed in a massive vice, so weird, and painful. It actually brought tears to my eyes, but, it did the trick. I just kept thinking "it only lasts a few seconds!!!" The outcome is not as good as the right side, but still, brought the pain levels down to a 1 or 2, and I'll take that any day, compared to what it was!! Much, much better than before, for sure.

    Good luck on the 16th Tracy!!
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
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