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Facet pain not responding to injection

I am a soldier that was injured in Iraq and I have a deployment to Afghanistan in the near future. Unfortunately my insurance will not cover an XLIF, or any other fusion for that matter, that my Ortho assures would alleviate all my pain. I also will not be able to use the prescription narcotics that currently provide minimal relief but allow me to work. My MRI confirms what my PT had discovered, my pain is coming from both facet and SI joint. After being realigned and an SI joint injection my leg feels much better. The injection to the facet was done with imaging and I am sure my PM put it in the correct location. However it gave no relief. Would a rhizotomy be pointless? All input is welcome I can not deploy with 5/10 pain and I can not let my brothers go without me.
Brantley Thompson


  • 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
  • Since you have duty related injuries, are you receiving care from the VA/Tricare? Are you active duty or Guard/Reserve? If you are to the point you cant do your military job, you can be medically retired. Obviously, that's a last resort but you have it available if you need to use it.

    My doctor has told me that if the facet joint injections don't provide relief, the RFA / Rhizotomy shouldn't be done.

    I would suggest that you speak with your unit First Sergeant regarding your dilemma. He/She should be willing to help you through the medical issues and get you some answers.

    Good luck!
    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • I am Guard about to go on 2nd deployment. I am service connected but the VA is worse than Obamacare. I have been waiting 6 months just to be referred to ortho and or PM. Thank you for your input.
    Brantley Thompson
  • You go out and put your life on the line for our freedom and the government says that they can't spend a little bit of money on you to help get you better so you can go do it all again. Well thank you for your service #1, then I want to tell you to fight the insurance, if your doctor thinks it is medically necessary then he should be able to write a letter saying just that and it should get paid for, if that isn't the case maybe the doctor can work something out to where they can do the procedure and write it off for an honorable soldier like yourself!
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