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Medial Branch Blocks & Ablation....

edited 06/11/2012 - 8:18 AM in Spinal Injections
Just wondering if anyone has had this done and how long they waited before they realized that it was not working? Also , did anyone end up with MORE symptoms after the procedure than before????


  • The branch blocks were very short(days) lived for me. The ablation ( nerve burn) was a godsend for me until I had surgery. But, it does take time for the nerve to totally die. I never experienced immediate relief from them. It usually takes me 2 - 3 months to get relief from it but when I get relief it is probably 85% relief of my pain. Well worth the wait. Unfortunately ever since I had surgery back in Dec. I do not even get relief from that anymore. Were you awake during the procedure? This is very important because the doc will know for sure that he is burning the correct nerve. My doc says that is the only way to be accurate with the nerve burn. I felt a vibrating sensation in my spinal area until the correct nerve was hit and then excruciating pain until he could numb and then burn.
  • I was on the other side of the coin.
    I had increased pain for several weeks after my nerve burn.
    My whole back and left leg lite up like a christmas tree with pain.
    Surgery 6+ weeks ago showed my nerve completely crushed and nothing would have helped short of surgery.
    You have to try all recourse prior.
    Surgery?, recovery has been painful. Off the charts a lot but the improvement, well worth it at the end of the day.
  • Immediately after the rhizotomy (nerve burn). Sorry, I did not mention that in my first post. I was in a great deal of pain the last one that I had which was six levels. It lasted for about two weeks. The pain was much like chefrobear mentioned.
  • I had this procedure done back in late April (left) and early May (right). I was lucky to be on the low end of the spectrum as far as recovery. My Dr told me anywhere between 2 days and 2 months to feel better. The first 2 days I was extremely sore to the touch, so much so that I could hardly lay on my back. On the morning of the 3rd day I woke up and my pain was gone in the low back. I still have pain in my SI joints, but that is all. I was extremely fortunate to not have all the nerve pain that the majority of people on here have had.

    I would definitely give it a shot. I know for me it was a great decision. Good luck either way.

  • respones ya'll....I really appreciate it. I had these done as well and I have ended up in more pain so I can relate to you who it didn't work for. Mark , I am so happy that these worked for you and that you found relief. It is always worth a shot I think when you are looking for pain relief because you never really know what will work for you and what won't.... :)
  • You know with injections they are hit or miss, no pun intended. It is not that the doctors dont know what they are doing, it is really your body's reaction to the shot can be very unpredictable. For example you can go in for pain in your low back, get a shot and get 6 months relief. You can go back in with the same pain, same location and get no relief at all.

    As you said, you just have to give it a shot and see if it works. Also, I agree with the theory of trying more than 1 session. Sometimes the inflamation is too great for just 1 shot to touch it.

    It is a constant battle for all of us, but at least we have the chance to be here and fight! Cool luck to you!
  • I have an appointment for the nerve block on Aug 12, and then if I have pain reduction from that, they will schedule the ablation. I am really hoping it will do the trick for me.

    I am a little worried, now that I've heard you guys talk about the pain afterwards. But I think the long run is what I have to focus on.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences.
  • I am in my 3rd week post left sided nerve burn. It has worsend my pain, but I think it will help in the long run. Please try to be patient, I am not and want results asap.
    My pm is a diplomat in anethesiology and he put me to sleep. too painful he said.
  • Thanks Lynn. I will ask my PM doc more about how she does the procedure when I go in for the nerve block. And also what to expect.

    I think I can handle the pain, if it means a lot less pain over the long run. I will just have to keep that in mind.
  • ok I am really scared now. Have the L3,4,5 burned next Fri. Have had too many shots and SOunds like the pain is bad. And I am have three burned OH MY DEAR G-D :O
  • Okay, now you got me scared too! I'm scheduled for ablation 9/3. I'm dying to see how your procedure went (8/8/08?). PLEASE say it didn't hurt one bit, & you feel 100% better?!?!?
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