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RFA of SI joint: what should I expect post procedure?

wwlady41wwlady41 Posts: 131
edited 06/11/2012 - 2:00 PM in Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Problems
Hi all! I am scheduled for a RFA for my SI joints tomorrow.
Can anyone tell me what I should expect regarding pain and additional limitations after the procedure is done? It is my understanding that there is about a 40% chance of getting some real pain relief. I would love to get some feedback from anyone with experience. Thanks a bunch!



  • I've had the SI RFA a few times. Have you had any other RFAs at any other level? If yes, the SI isn't really any different.

    If this is your first RFA, then you might be a little apprehensive. Try to relax, take some deep breaths, it makes it go much smoother if you aren't tensed up. The RFA should only take about 20 minutes total. The actual "burn" phase is only 90 seconds or so. By then you should be numb. You'll be a little sore afterwards, ice really really helps this. Follow the "post procedure" instructions (no baths, don't drive, no strenuous activities that afternoon). I'm always a little sore due to the needles, especially after the anesthesia (lidocaine, it's just like an epidural) wears off. The next day might be a little sore, but not bad at all. Then it gets better day after day until the pain is as gone as it will get. I have great success with these. Anywhere from 80 to 100% relief. It does take 3-4 weeks for the maximum relief to be reached, in my experience.

    I didn't get in to the entire procedure here for brevity sake. If you have more questions or want more details, let me know, I'll answer best I can. I've been having RFAs every 9 months for about 5 years.
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