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Lumbar Facet Rhizotomy or Nerve Ablation

Alli75AAlli75 Posts: 9
edited 12/13/2014 - 5:05 AM in Pain Management
Hi all. After four sucessful years of facet joint injections under floroscopy, for a total of six sets of injections during those four years, my doctor wants me to undergo the facet nerve ablation. Unfortunately, I don't know anyone who has had this procedure done. The injections have always been successful in taking a good part of the pain away so he believes that the rhizotomy will work for me. My question is, what is the recovery like from this? I've read that the pain gets worse but if I suffer from near dibilitationg arthritis pain already, is is something that I'll find easy to manage because of my existing pain experience?

Thanks in advance for anyone who can relay their personal experience here.



  • SarahLindeauSarahLindeau Posts: 767
    edited 12/12/2014 - 12:02 PM
    Rhizos works for some and not for others. The pre-tests are really important for that reason. In my case, it was only minimally effective. I had bilateral ablations at L4, L5, S1 and then a year later had my fusion
    2015: Thoracic protrusions C7-T1, T3-4, T6-8
    Dec'13: 360FusionL4-S1 w/bone graft
    2013: 3x2-level disc injections: 12mo surgery postponement
    Dec'12: DiscogramL4-S1
    Sep/Oct'12: Bi-lateral Rhizo AblationsL4- S1
  • I'm in a lot of arthritis pain too. Everyone's experience & spine is different. For me the post procedure pain was quite comparable to ESI's but I've had some REALLY bad ESI's (& some good ones!) same can be said of nerve burning. I think, maybe the post procedure pain lasted a bit longer than the ESI's. I don't really separate the two in my mind but I know others would disagree.

    Ice as soon as you can. It's the best advise anyone ever gave me. It really helps keep the pain flare under control.

    Oh! And... For me post procedure flares have never been any worse than regular flares.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • If you do a search in this forum, you will find many threads related to RFA and the post procedure recovery.
    There is a search box at the top of the forum page.
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