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Cervical RFA

I had a RFA on my cervical spine a year and a half ago. I was not prepared for how intense the pain was afterwards, not at all! Literally took weeks (6!) However painful it was, I enjoyed 11 months of zero pain in my neck. After the 11 glorious months, to say I was upset is an understatement. At first I thought "Oh I just slept wrong" nope, the nerves grew back. So back to the horrible pain. It was as if I never had it done. So after being upset they grew back (I was told 50% of people didn't have their pain return) and after a little denial, here I am with an appointment this Wednesday to set up the repeat procedure. I am excited! My attitude is always really good, and I believe this time it won't be as bad. Even if it is, I know what to expect!! Also I know that 6 weeks goes by fast (I will be telling myself that during recovery!) and the payout will be awesome. I am intolerant to pain medicine, so Zanaflex and Advil liqua gels to the rescue! I have, however tolerated Morphine in the ER along with Phenergrin (sp?) But at home I will just try and sleep as much as possible. The one thing I am committed to doing is during my pain free time I will work on my posture and try to strengthen my body.
In addition I have 2 herniated discs in my thoracic so without the neck pain I am able to handle that. Compound that plus the neck, life can be difficult to say the least! I am happy to find a forum with folks who understand what we go through on a daily basis. I feel for my husband who had a very hard time watching me in so much pain. To all of you who have found success with this procedure, I am happy you found it. I sure am!
Have a great week! Jan


  • Welcome :). Cuddos for the brilliant attitude although I know its hard to keep it up sometimes.

    I, too have had ablations for my C facet joints, on 4 levels. First time I had great relief too! I think for 7 or so months. Then my bad discs or the stenosis started messing with my peripheral nerves left arm, hand and shoulder. I lost reflexes, and arm got so week I couldnt even hold a phone and numbness all the time, burning pain so bad I wanted to chop of my arm. So I went in for a fusion C5-C7 to stop the damage. They cleared up a bunch of facet arhritis and surgeon said it was all gone since I was fused...

    Well, guess what, I still struggle with nerve and facet pain and they got to one or two nerve roots too late, I still present with neuropathy from c5-t1. So another round of ablation, calmed things down but for less time than the first one. Still, I'll do a third and a fourth if I have to, cause it does help to calm things down for me and deaden those nerve ends for a couple of months.

    I know a lot of people hate the procedure and have more pain after. We are all different. I had short time pain - a couple of days after procedure, then a lighter flare and then, ahh, pain gone (at least there) for a while :).

    Im getting my permanent spinal cord stimulator next week for that darn neuropathy that is permanent now and sucks bad. But I can still get more ablasions if needed. So far they have helped me the most, except for the scs. I have gotten so many epidurals and im kind of done with steroids for a long time... But then, when the bad flares kick in, I willingly say yes to pretty much everything my pain doctor throws at me.

    Anyways, sorry about the rant. Just wanted to wish you welcome and I find it inspiring and hopeful that the ablasions have helped you so much. I kinda like them, at least the results.

    Best wishes for your upcoming procedure and to a great outcome.
    Cause: car accident & genetics
    Effect: herniations C4-7, stenosis, osteoarthritis, myelopathy, neuropathy
    Non-invasive Treatment: everything under the sun
    Invasive Treatment: 2 level ACDF, C5 & C6, May 2012
    Moving Forward: SCS
  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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    Ron DiLauro

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
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