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Facet Rhizotomy- 4 required-only one shot at a time?

Hi! After 9 months of pain mgmt,. it was determined (after nerve blocks) that I need the rhizotomy procedure (2 levels, both sides). I called to schedule yesterday and they said my insurance company only allows one shot at a time. So I called insurance co. and they said if Dr. submits note saying he can do all 4 at once and it is better to do it that way, they will approve it. So I called PM place today and told them that, and she said THE
IR billing dept said Dr. only does one a a time. I know from reading posts here that many get more than one level at a time. Is this true, or is there a reason why it is better to do one at a time, one week between each?? It seems crazy to me!
Thanks for any input!
Hoping to be pain-free soon!


  • By now I am sure you have had this done but I wanted to add my experience as well just in case someone else reads this later.
    I ended up having a 4 level cervical fusion but before that my PM tried a 3 level Facet Rhizotomy on the left side. He did do all 3 at the same time. Not only at the same visit but at the exact same time, 3 needles in the neck at once. Unfortunatley it did not work for me. It just made me feel like I had a sunburn in the spot for about 4 months. How did it go? I hope it all worked out for you and you had better relief than I did.

  • I'm a pro at RFA (rhizotomy) procedures. I'm to the point where I can just call the doc, schedule an RFA, and have him do it. I could probably almost place the needles myself LOL (ok, not THAT pro). I've had 3 levels at the same time, but that's about as far as any doc I've seen is willing to push it. One of my previous doctors, who was awesome but I had to move, once said that it would be too much pain to do more.
  • I ended up only having 2 done (one on each side) but am having fusion done in 4 days. The Dr. who did all my shots and procedures said, "Don't come back..you need a fusion!" Lol! So here I go. But the rhizotomies did help the lower back pain but not the sciatica.
  • So how are thing with you now. I hope it is better for you now.
    C3-4-5 fusion 2005
    C-5-T-1 disk bulged
    L-4-5 bulge to the right, with Microdiscectomy, failed
    L5- Bi-Lateral bulge
    Pain in right foot -loss of feeling
    Left butt, hip and front thigh pain with bad shooting pain into inside ankle sometimes
  • just had fusion surgery dec 3---still in a quite a bit of pain and from y what I understaand, will be for a while. Dr. said I had a lot more rthritis and bone spurs than MRI showed, and there was absolutely no disc left at front of vertabrae. Tge Physiatrist who was giving me ESI's and rhizotomies told me I needed a fusion. And he was right.
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