I have been diagnosed with a having facet Arthropathy and have had 25 plus Bilateral facet rhizotomies on L3 L4 L5 and S1. (over 15 years) At first it was once a year then every 8 month every 6 months and the last 4 years every 3 months. I had a car accident and had low back pain, shooting pains own my legs, some trouble voiding, weakness, numbness in my toes and pain in my thighs. It took sometime before anyone diagnosed me. They did an MRI back then and no herniated Disc. My insurance pays for me to have the procedure and recovery time of 13 days. This has worked well up to about 2 years ago. Over time the pain has become worse. They did an MRI last year and found that I also have a bulging disc with an annular tear. (l4-L5)Now they are saying all this increased pain is related to the disc not the facet joint issue. The last two rhizotomies I did have the nerves reacting in lower leg and foot. (causing alot of issues in my legs after the procedure)Only change to pain is it is way worse and that I have numbness and pain in my heal as well.
My question to you is:
1)Do you know what the long term side effect would be to have so many of these procedures- can they cause the disc problem
(can it cause other issues- what other issues)
2) Are the symptoms I am describing sounding like they are disc or facet issues or both
3)Do you have any recommendations for treatment
4) Could they damage the disc (tear) well doing the procedure
5) Why am I now having the lower leg issues when having the procedure when I never had it before.
6) Could the Rhz stop working all together
7) Is there anyone out there that has had 25 plus Rhizotomies and what has your experience been
If I live to 65 that another 60 procedures - what will that do to my back